BULAWAYO, March 4 (The Source) – MultiChoice Zimbabwe’s low cost digital terrestrial television service GOtv has been taken off air by the country’s broadcasting regulatory authority due to unspecified shareholder issues, the operators said on Tuesday.
GOtv transmitters were switched off on January 31 by the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe without prior notice to the management of GOtv, MultiChoice Africa or GOtv subscribers, one year after it was launched, according to a MultiChoice Zimbabwe statement issued on Tuesday.
The service is a joint initiative of MultiChoice Africa, DAE and Zimbabwe parastatal Transmedia, in line with the GOtv model of public private partnerships. Multichoice is believed to own 60 percent of the venture.
MultiChoice Zimbabwe’s public relations manager Elizabeth Dziva said GOtv stakeholders have been in discussions with the broadcasting authority and government officials in order to resolve the situation.
“These discussions relate primarily to the shareholding in GOtv. No agreement has yet been reached on the matter. Unfortunately this is something beyond our control. However we will continue to engage the relevant authorities in order to have the GOtv signal restored as soon as possible,” said Dziva.
She added that the GOtv service was a viable and sustainable service which has already been successfully launched in nine other countries and has enjoyed tremendous customer appeal, adding that the growth of the service in Zimbabwe was also quite promising – with good growth coming from a limited coverage area.
“The rollout of the service was on track, and was rendered unavailable due to issues beyond our control. The rollout plans remain on track, and we would be able to increase coverage and subscriber take up as soon as a decision is taken to switch the service back on air,” Dziva said.