Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation revamp to accelerate DTT migration

Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) will be overhauled to give it an edge in the competitive digital TV market.

In a state of the nation address, Zimbabwe’s President has said that the public broadcaster will be restructured to meet the rising demands for a digital TV network in the country. ZBC recently fired 500 of its employees.

“Although the migration process applies to television broadcasting only, Zimbabwe’s radio broadcast infrastructure is also being revamped through the same project,” said Robert Mugabe, President of Zimbabwe, according to Rapid TV.

The country missed the 17 June, 2015 deadline for digital terrestrial TV migration and is now trying to catch-up with the other African nations to complete the analogue switch-off. Zimbabwe has 48 broadcast transmitter sites, but only eight are linked via optic fibres to broadband internet. Lack of a strong optic fibre network is creating problems for the DTT migration process, reports Rapid Tv news.

According to Dataxis Intelligence service, the country had 149,200 pay-TV subscribers at the end of March, 2015. The number is expected to rise to 341,260 subscribers at the end of 2016. The market is ruled by a couple of pay-DTH providers namely DSTV and MyTV.

In related news, Zimbabwe recently completed installation of satellite uplink dish at the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) studios.