After qualifying for the first consecutive competitions in a while the Zimbabwe National football team is playing Egypt in tonight’s Afcon opener. Kick off is at 22:00 hours.

Unfortunately most of the country might not be able to see their country play because:

  • A lot of people can no longer afford DSTV payments which have to be made in foreign currency
  • As a result most were banking on watching the match on Zimbabwe’s sole Television Station ZBC

Well, ZBC might not be able to broadcast the match at all. They need € 750 000 (about $848 000) to buy broadcasting rights from CAF. They do not have that kind of money.

ZBC, CEO Patrick Mavhura, told parliament’s Information, Media and Broadcasting Services committee on Thursday that the state broadcaster was broke and would not be able to afford this.

We might fail to broadcast AFCON matches.

We are battling to get funds for the live beaming rights. We have been in negotiations with a private partner (Kwese TV) but we are yet to finalise the deal. About 750 000 Euros is needed urgently to buy the rights.

Naturally this irked the commettee who accused the state broadcaster of poor planning:

So a whole national broadcaster waited for this long to source funds for the tournament broadcasting until the last minute. Really, I fail to understand this?

The CEO said they are in negotiations with Kwese TV where they can share the cost of the rights. If this fails then people will have to be content with delayed matches.

Scandals at ZBC

Poor content and blatant bias have seen ZBC’s viewers decline over the years among town dwelling middle class. This has meant that advertisers are no longer willing to pay top dollar in terms of revenue.

Also a lot of people do not pay licence fees-usually as a form of protest over poor content. Which has meant the company has seen its income dwindle over the years. Add corruption and incompetence into the mix and here we are.

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