Following the recent signal encryption of SABC waves into Zimbabwe, millions were left at pains as they have been recipients of the “stray” signal via the Wiztech and Philibao satellite dish decoders.
The national broadcaster failed to capitalise during the time when Zimbabweans really needed a cheap alternative form of entertainment leading many opting for the DsTV subscription as the broadcaster failed to change its game plan.
ZBC chose to sing from the same old song book at the time millions were expecting competitive and quality broadcasting but it seems ZBC really did not care or their efforts were just below standards.
Being a national broadcaster, it would have been the first preference for all but with almost every household erecting a satellite dish, the writing, for long has been on the wall for the broadcaster, alas, nothing really changed.
The programming at ZBC especially TV Channel 1 leaves a lot to be desired with old documentaries, ancient Chinese acts and Bollywood movies having prominence.
The main News section has to have obvious glitches which we are now accustomed to and it leads one to believe that both the technical crew and the producers have accepted that glitches can and should always happen during news hour.
The audio quality keeps fluctuating and you could be forgiven to think that some child is toying around with the volume controls, to make it worse, this is quite prominent during commercial advert where you should guess to get the missing words.
Besides the major issues of lack of quality in content and signal, the TV broadcaster is also rumoured to have been dogged by serious sabotage over unpaid salaries accrued to its employees making it very difficult to keep the uninspired workforce to turn around the fortunes.
ZBC was recently reported to have acquired state of the art machinery meaning if the report is still valid, the broadcaster does not really have a technical problem but rather a more management one
where they need to seriously look into ways of making themselves relevant and acceptable to the viewers.
Zimbabweans still do get to watch their local TV here and there and ZBC should make those few minutes captivating and look into serious ways of winning back the viewers, the same trick they have been using is the one that led to millions buying satellite dish, and that system has obviously failed and simply needs to be changed.
Home grown programmes are healthy but that is no excuse for poor quality, advertisers would completely shy away the broadcaster if it does not change its strategy and without advertisers they have no revenues, and no employee retention hence poor content is solely their business to solve.
If Zimbabweans can manage to subscribe for the DsTV then surely they can manage to pay the paltry TV licence but forcing people to pay while they hate to watch your content is purely retrogressive.
The ZBC can blame everyone else except themselves all the way to their extinction or quickly see sense to meet the expectations of their viewers and bounce back to the game though honestly this will not de an easy task.
The ZBC boss Mr Happison Muchecheteri once said the same programmes which people are crying out for on SABC are also available on ZTV, well he proved he at least cared and maybe he needs more time too watching his station to really appreciate.