Zim­pa­pers pays $173k con­tent li­cence fees

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Her­ald Re­porter

ZIM­BABWE News­pa­pers (1980) Ltd yes­ter­day paid the $172 500 statu­tory fees re­quired to se­cure its con­tent dis­tri­bu­tion li­cence is­sued by the Broadcasting Au­thor­ity of Zim­babwe (BAZ), ef­fec­tively set­ting the group on the path to be­ing the coun­try’s only fully in­te­grated me­dia house.

Con­trary to so­cial me­dia claims, the li­cence is not a fre­quency-based ter­res­trial tele­vi­sion broadcasting li­cence, cur­rently held only by the Zim­babwe Broadcasting Cor­po­ra­tion, but a con­tent dis­tri­bu­tion li­cence like the one held by Mul­ti­choice and Kwesé TV

It was is­sued in line with BAZ’s in­vi­ta­tion for ap­pli­cants in­ter­ested in of­fer­ing con­tent dis­tri­bu­tion, web-cast­ing and video on de­mand ser­vices.

BAZ chief ex­ec­u­tive Mr Obert Mu­ganyura yes­ter­day said apart from the na­tional broad­caster, ZBC, no other ap­pli­cant had been is­sued with a tele­vi­sion broadcasting li­cence.

Zim­pa­pers, he said, ap­plied for a con­tent dis­tri­bu­tion li­cence, which was ap­proved by the au­thor­ity sub­ject to the pay­ment of the req­ui­site statu­tory fees.

“We have not is­sued any tele­vi­sion broadcasting ser­vice li­cence other than the one is­sued to pub­lic broad­caster ZTV,” he said.

“Early this year we flighted an advertisement invit­ing those in­tend­ing to pro­vide broadcasting ser­vices that do not re­quire fre­quency al­lo­ca­tion to sub­mit their ap­pli­ca­tions to the au­thor­ity. We gave ex­am­ples of such ser­vices as con­tent dis­tri­bu­tion, web-cast­ing and video on de­mand.

“That advertisement ex­cluded ap­pli­ca­tions for ter­res­trial tele­vi­sion li­cences which in any case use fre­quen­cies. Zim­pa­pers ap­plied for a con­tent dis­tri­bu­tion li­cence which es­sen­tially en­tails the dis­tri­bu­tion of con­tent ag­gre­gated within or out­side Zim­babwe and the de­liv­ery of that con­tent is via satel­lite.

“Es­sen­tially what Zim­pa­pers ap­plied for is a li­cence to pro­vide ser­vices like DSTV and Kwesé which is different from a ter­res­trial tele­vi­sion broadcasting li­cence.”

Mr Mu­ganyura said BAZ was wait­ing for Zim­pa­pers to meet its statu­tory obli­ga­tions after which they would is­sue the con­tent dis­tri­bu­tion li­cence.

“Fol­low­ing the as­sess­ment of its con­tent dis­tri­bu­tion ap­pli­ca­tion, we have ad­vised Zim­pa­pers that their ap­pli­ca­tion for a con­tent dis­tri­bu­tion li­cence has been suc­cess­ful and upon pay­ment of the req­ui­site statu­tory fees, that con­tent dis­tri­bu­tion li­cence will be is­sued,” he said.

By end of day yes­ter­day, Zim­pa­pers’ pay­ment of $115 000 li­cence fees and $57 500 an­nual con­tri­bu­tion to the Broadcasting Fund had gone through to BAZ’s CBZ ac­count.

In ap­par­ent ref­er­ence to so­cial me­dia claims that BAZ was favour­ing Gov­ern­ment-aligned in­sti­tu­tions, Mr Mu­ganyura said Zim­pa­pers had not been is­sued with a tele­vi­sion broadcasting li­cence, which only ZBCTv cur­rently holds, but a con­tent dis­tri­bu­tion li­cence sim­i­lar to Mul­ti­choice and Kwesé TV.

In­vi­ta­tions for tele­vi­sion broadcasting li­cences, he said, were still pend­ing as Gov­ern­ment was still work­ing on the digi­ti­sa­tion pro­gramme and the pur­chase of set top boxes.

Ahead of its suc­cess­ful ap­pli­ca­tion, Zim­pa­pers had al­ready set up Zim­pa­pers Tele­vi­sion Net­work as a pro­duc­tion house.

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