Lately, there has been increased activity in the Zimbabwean television station space. We now have 3K TV and Jive TV which was launched not too long ago. 3K TV was launched by Jester Media Services Private Limited, the company that fully owns Modus Media, the publisher of the Financial Gazette. It went live on the 28th of February 2022 on DSTV Channel 293.

Jive TV was launched on the 27th of April 2022 by Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC). It is a youth-focused entertainment channel. It showcases Zimbabwean, African, and Foreign music with the content proportion of 60 per cent, 25 percent, and 15 percent, respectively.

ZTN Prime is the latest addition to that list which is believed to continue growing as we move forward. ZTN is a subsidiary of Zimbabwe Newspapers Limited (commonly known as Zimpapers). It is Zimbabwean’s biggest integrated media company – with 8 newspapers and 4 radio stations under its banner.

By the way, ZTN stands for Zimpapers Television Network. The mother body of all these rollouts is the Zimpapers Group as they strive to grow the digital plane in Zimbabwe. This was also echoed by the Information, Publicity, and Broadcasting Minister, Monica Mutsvangwa on the 19th of May 2022, and the official launch event was held in Harare at Newlands Sports Club. She said, “…ZTN is there to chart a new chapter of digital broadcasting, it will strive to salivate the hunger for content for a nation which is blessed with so much talent”.

Where To Find ZTN Prime

It was then launched on the 24th of May 2022 at 1730hrs CAT. ZTN Prime will be airing on DSTV Channel 294. This has been made possible due to a partnership that ZTN struck with Multi-Choice. The channel will be available on DSTV Premium, DSTV Compact Plus, DStv Compact, DSTV Access, and DSTV Lite. I did, however, notice several people saying it is not showing on DSTV Compact. It seems those with South African DSTV accounts are the ones experiencing this. Plus it also seems like for those outside Zimbabwe, the channel is only available if you have DSTV Access going upwards. So far there has not been a definitive clarification from ZTN Prime regarding this.

Some Of The Attractions

It was reported that some of the programs to expect are Soulmate, Days at Ekasi, Live Football, Brooke Triad, Simply Gents, Pink Dairies, Munhava Munei, Mucheka, and more. ZTN Prime will have screening rights to all local premiership soccer games. ZTN Prime also highlighted that independent content creators will have an opportunity to submit their content for airing. Again, Minister Mutsvangwa pointed to this during the launch event when she said, “…content creators will then have a chance to really do a good job and to be rewarded well for the job they do. This is a big achievement. Zimbabweans at home and abroad will have a chance to show their talent to the global world”.

Soulmate, for instance, is a series about two lovers, Phumxa and Locratia about their love journey. Day at Ekasi is a show that chronicles life in Zimbabwean townships. Some of the recurring programs will be Morning Rush at 0600hrs CAT daily and Happy Hour at 2000hrs on Tuesdays.

Some Early Commentary

Firstly, there is the issue of some viewers not finding DSTV Channel 294 on some bouquets.  Hopefully, we shall get more clarity soonest. I think it will be most convenient to have the channel accessible on all DSTV bouquets. Some were citing poor sound and video quality. Yet some were singing praising how exceptional the sound and video quality is. Thus it might not be definitive to say which is which. After all, it is still too early to tell; ZTN Prime has just been deployed so let us give it some time to make objective assessments. Some people have also raised concerns regarding the pushing of political narratives or propaganda. Again it is too early to tell though, of course, some are already highlighting those concerns.

All in all, it is commendable to see more Zimbabwean television channels being rolled out. If this trend is maintained that will be a good thing for Zimbabwe. It would be great to see Zimbabwean content becoming household features in foreign homes just like SABC content. Content creators now have to concert their efforts to come up with top-notch content. It will truly be a win-win scenario for everyone – content creators, viewers, stakeholders, and the Zimbabwean nation at large. Any thoughts? Kindly share them in the comments below.