The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) says that it might not be able to provide live coverage of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament which kicks off in Egypt this Friday. The broadcaster says that it needs 750 000 euros to provide live coverage.
ZBC, CEO Patrick Mavhura, told parliament’s Information, Media and Broadcasting Services committee on Thursday that the company was financially incapacitated to buy rights to beam the popular tournament live to locals. Mavhura said:
We might fail to broadcast AFCON matches.
- - - Buy NetOne, Telecel Airtime on WhatsApp using EcoCash.
Send the word Airtime to +263 714 815 229
No extra charges. - - -
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.
This, however, offended committee members who felt the State controlled broadcaster lacked proper planning. Committee chair and Binga MP Prince Sibanda said:
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 ZBC boss revealed that the broadcaster is still in negotiations with Kwese TV for a partnership as was the case with the 2018 World Cup where it contributed US$450 000 towards the arrangement.
Failure to secure a sponsor, ZBC will have to beam delayed matches since the kickoff is only left with a few hours.
This comes as ZESA, a local power utility has since announced that it is not able to supply power enough for the whole country during the AFCON games.
More: New Zimbabwe