GOtv plots comeback

MAURITIUS - Multichoice Africa says it is working on bringing back the digital terrestrial television service GOtv which was switched off in January this year.

The television service, launched amid fanfare in February last year by partners who include Multichoice Africa and Transmedia, was switched off over shareholder differences.

Multichoice Africa chief executive officer Nico Meyer told a week-long content conference currently underway in Mauritius that his organisation was determined to restore the television service.

“We are still committed to Zimbabwe and we already have our towers there and I think once the issues have been settled we will be able to bring the service back to Zimbabwe,” said Meyer.

“We launched our product in Zimbabwe and government asked us to stop our services until some of the regulatory issues were settled.

“We then terminated the service in Zimbabwe and we did not want our subscribers to go empty handed. And because sometimes these processes take a protracted period of time to finalise, we then offered the customers to take DStv decoders until we settle all regulatory issues.”

Meyer would not say though when GOtv would be back on air.

“Unfortunately I cannot tell you how long it will take for us to come back because there are a lot of issues which are completely out of our control,” he said.

“We look at it as a long-term investment so I accept that there were certain losses that we incurred and many of the projects even short-term we incur losses but it is about a long-term vision.

“We have constant engagement with the government and the Ministry of Information. Our commitment is to bring GOtv back to Zimbabwe and we want to work through this.”

The Multichoice Africa chief executive officer added that GOtv was switched off despite the fact that his organisation had complied with statutory obligations.

“We went through the (Information) ministry, but as things progressed there were certain push backs and we disagreed on certain components of that and we went straight to terminate the service but our intention is to bring it back.

“We just have to go through these steps which unfortunately I cannot tell you,” said Meyer.

When GOtv was terminated its channels included ZBC, Africa Magic World, Select Sport World, Aljezeera and many others for a subscription fee of $9 per month.

GOtv is operational in African countries which include Malawi, Zambia, Rwanda, Namibia, Uganda, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria and Ghana.

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