Jester Media Services managing director for broadcasting division, Zweli Sibanda
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More TV set top boxes rolled out

ZIMBABWE’s first national independent television station, 3Ktv, together with other new channels, will become more widely available in the country from now onwards.

This comes after the government recently started ramping up the rollout of set top boxes — special receivers that allow ordinary Zimbabweans to watch the stations for free — countrywide. The fast-growing 3Ktv, which went live on February 28, 2022, is also available on DStv’s Channel 293 — where it continues to outshine its local competition.

The permanent secretary in the ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Nick Mangwana, confirmed to the Daily News yesterday that authorities were escalating the rollout of set top boxes around the country.

“There are 50 000 set top boxes which we have sourced as the government. This means that every Zimbabwean will soon be able to access multiple channels via our set top boxes as part of the digitalisation programme, after the government licensed all these new television stations in 2020.

“People can access the stations if they get one of the affordable US$25 set top boxes. Once you get that, there is no other fee to pay except for installation. “The funds we are using to buy these set top boxes are revolving funds, and once these 50 000 are gone, the money recovered by the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) will be recycled to buy more boxes. That’s a Cabinet decision,” Mangwana told the Daily News.

Commenting on this development, Jester Media Services (JMS) managing director for broadcasting division, Zweli Sibanda, welcomed the heightened sale of the set top boxes yesterday, saying this would further boost 3Ktv’s already significant viewership numbers.

 “We are delighted that more set top boxes are being made available to the public. We applaud authorities for this move. “It’s good that very soon all Zimbabweans will be able to enjoy our riveting programming,” Sibanda said.

3Ktv is owned by the Jester Media Services Group (JMS), which also owns some of the country’s biggest and most influential media brands that include the Daily News, the Daily News On Sunday, its printing division Printco, Jester Events, online business newsletter Business Live, and The Financial Gazette — the country’s number one business publication.

The channel — which was licensed in November 2020 after coming tops in a competitive and public bidding process — went on air amid palpable excitement in early 2022, becoming the first licensed private commercial station to operate in the country since television was first introduced in the then Southern Rhodesia in November 1960.

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