Botswana launches second television channel

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Botswana launches second television channel

THE SouthernTIMES Mar 19, 2018

    Bakang Mhaladi

    Gaborone – Botswana has launched a second state television channel, Now tv to complement the existing Botswana Television (Btv).   

    Now TV will focus mostly on youth issues and was launched last Thursday in Gaborone. The channel will broadcast four hours a day and play only local content, a move that would boost the local film and music industry. However, the plan is to broadcast 24hours in the long term.

    The channel will air across the country on the Digital Terrestrial Platform and is available on satellite free-to-air. It will also be available on the local DStv bouquet.

    Botswana’s Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development, Thapelo Olopeng, said the introduction of a second television channel was long overdue.

    He expects the development to improve local content and reward producers.

    “Content was acquired from local production companies. The key condition was that it should be local content. Over 40 (local) companies had showed interest but we were able to procure from only 22 due to the limited budget,” Olopeng said.

    The budget for procurement was P10million.

    Olopeng said the need for another channel arose to accommodate young people, who often felt left out in the predominantly current affairs and adult channel, Btv.

    “The idea was conceived in 2015 as we thought of introducing the new medium of expression, entertainment and engagement of young people in the country,” he said.

    The concern was that there was a high number of unemployed locals trained in the film and television industry.

    Olopeng said they would continue to engage with content creators for the long-term sustainability of the channel.

    The private sector has been urged to support the channel, as the idea is to wean off government support.

    “Going forward, the channel will seek to be self-financing through commercial ventures in partnership with the private sector. For young people, this is an opportunity for you to show off your creativity by developing new programs, that will educate your audiences,” Olopeng said.

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