BOStv abused licence — Baz

HARARE - The Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (Baz) has said BOStv was operating illegally as a free-to-air TV channel, and must be incorporated into the MYTV bouquet on a subscription basis as authorised by their licence.

BOStv was recently yanked off air by Baz.

Obert Muganyura, Baz chief executive, said Dr Dish, owners of BOStv, abused its licence and has been instructed to encrypt the signal and comply with terms of its license.

“The BOStv channel was meant to be added to the MYTV bouquet on a subscription basis by Dr. Dish but we have since established that the BOStv channel is actually being received as a free-to-air channel outside the MYTV bouquet”, Muganyura told the Daily News.

“Dr Dish has since been instructed to encrypt the channel and to incorporate the channel into the MYTV bouquet for reception on a subscription basis as authorised by their licence.”

Muganyura said in 2011 and 2012, Baz invited applications for satellite based services, called content distribution services, and issued two licences, one to Faithful Marketing and the other to Dr. Dish.

These licences authorised the two companies to provide a subscription service called MYTV in Zimbabwe, which is received via satellite.

Nyasha Muzavazi, BOStv executive chairman said it was untrue that BOStv was operating illegally in Zimbabwe. 

“The position is BOSTv is a satellite television channel which was launched with the full concurrence of the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe, a constitutional board that regulates and governs the operation of broadcasting services as defined by the Broadcasting Services Act Chapter 12:06 in their letter of 21 August 2013.”

He said Dr Dish (Private Limited) has a valid 10 year content distribution services license which was issued on October 18, 2012.

Muzavazi said his company was in the process of engaging the regulatory authority with a view to launching a fully-fledged first Zimbabwean-owned affordable Pan-African satellite television network with over 40 channels with subscriptions within the reach of every ordinary Zimbabwean.

Muzavazi said BOStv requires over $10million to start up the channel.

“We are talking with a couple of local banks with views to create smart synergies where our clients will access loans for decoders and pay their subscriptions through the partnering bank,” he said.

“Such subscriptions will include their loan repayments. We will also establish a network of distributors and agents throughout every part of our country for easy accessibility of services.”

Muzavazi added, “We have faith and confidence in our regulatory authority that such a request to amend the conditions of our licence to reflect the nature of service, system or business we intend to conduct, will not be unnecessarily denied as such a development is in line with promoting the social and economic interests of Zimbabwe and our government’s economic turnaround blueprint, the ZimAsset,” he said. “It is also in line with the provisions of our new Constitution.”

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