By Bongani Ndlovu
Three new television stations risk losing their licences after failing to pay licensing fees to the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) by the deadline of January 21.
Last year the Government issued six free-to-air commercial television licences and the owners were given 18 months to roll out operations.
The three stations which were not named were then given an extension by BAZ to pay their fees by June 30 and failure to that Government will re-advertise the licensing.
This was revealed by the Deputy Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Kindness Paradza to Zimpapers Television Network yesterday.
“BAZ issued six free-to-air commercial licences last year and out of these six only three have paid up licence fees. The remaining three had issues saying because of Covid they had problems raising the fees, so they asked for an extension and BAZ in its wisdom extended to June 30.
“So, we expect them to have paid off by June 30, failure to do that the Government has no choice but to re-advertise these three licences for other new players to come in,” said Deputy Minister Paradza.
According to sources, each of the six companies that were issued with licences was supposed to pay $3,2 million by January 21 this year but the three failed to meet the deadline.
ZTN is one of the six television stations that were awarded national commercial free to air television licences by BAZ last year.
Other stations that were given the green light to operate are Rusununguko Media (Pvt) Ltd trading as NRTV, Jester Media trading as 3K TV, Acacia Media Group trading as Kumba TV, Fairtalk Communications trading as Ke Yona TV and Channel Dzimbahwe trading as Channel D. The Chronicle