Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo has urged independent producers to take advantage of the migration from analogue to digital television broadcasting to come up with sound and high quality programmes which can be consumed by both local and foreign audiences.
Addressing journalists at the Bulawayo Press Club, Professor Moyo urged independent producers to start packaging their programmes and ensure that they meet the expectation of viewers.
He expressed concern on the lack of human resources and technical skills in story telling for television and underscored the need to conduct a skills audit.
Professor Moyo also said his ministry is looking at phasing out the ZBC method of collecting TV licences and introducing a new ICT driven system in line with government policy objectives.
“We are also looking forward to the possibility of eliminating the current licence for TV so that there are no licence inspectors to worry about. We will have to find a technological equivalent that properly satisfies the policy objectives. This will result in an ICT driven solution which will ensure that no one watches television without paying for a licence,” he said.
The digitisation process will see migration from very high frequency (VHF) to ultra high frequency (UHF) which makes it possible for one station to open as many as 21 television channels.
The process is being done in line with International Telecommunications Union (ITU) requirements whose switch off deadline from the analogue is 17 June this year.
Government has already secured the funds required for the process and the money will be used for infrastructure development, upgrading of transmission network, signal distribution, refurbishing studios as well as regulation and monitoring.