BUSINESS WRITER 23 January 2018
HARARE – A Zimbabwean investment group Ktulu Nominees (Private) Limited
(Ktulu) has taken up a 50 percent share in Dr Dish (Private) Limited (Dr
Dish) following its recent break-up with Kwese TV.
The development also comes as the digital satellite company’s new partners
have unveiled plans to acquire more strategic assets – with synergistic
potential – in the local and regional markets, and Gerald Mlotshwa’s
ambitious broadcasting firm is targeting a 100 million subscribers across
Africa within the next five to seven years.
“This transaction brings in the much-needed capital for Dr Dish to launch
our exciting products and services… in Zimbabwe, and sub-Saharan Africa,
within the next few days after the necessary notifications (in line with
the) Broadcasting Services Act,” chief executive Nyasha Muzavazi said,
adding they were “hopeful of reaching about four million viewers locally
through niche programmes such as tele-learning, health and farming” as
well in the near future.
“Having acquired a full transponder on Yemal 402 satellite, which shares
the same dish with Intelsat 20 and additional capacity on SES 5 – that is
compatible with Eutelsat 7B satellites – we are ready to unveil our
multi-content platform for both subscription and non-subscription services
for customers who are already on these decoders,” he said.
Under the agreement with Ktulu, Mlotshwa will chair Dr Dish’s board – to
represent his family investment vehicle – while Muzavazi becomes the
For a company that has been aggressively pursuing infrastructural sharing
and interoperability of broadcasting apparatus, the digital satellite firm
believes viewers can access up to 40 entertainment channels for free, a
110 more on paid-up content and proper competition as well as disruptive
innovation was going to drive monthly subscriptions to as low as $10 even
for premium bouquets.
As such, BOSTV brand holder has not only embarked on a massive campaign to
sign up subscribers through agreements with such organisations as the
Zimbabwe Council of Churches and Apostolic Christian Church of Zimbabwe,
which must deliver 1,2 million viewers by 2023, but it is also in advanced
talks with a local telecommunications firm to rollout its products
“everywhere” via a mobile application.
Having done a free-to-air trial run between September 2013 and February
2014, Dr Dish is also hoping to capture at least 20 percent of Zimbabwe’s
four million households through such popular programmes as the South
African Broadcasting Services (SABC)’s Generations, Isidingo, 7 De Laan
“Remember, BOSTV has rights to SABC content such as these regular soapies,
kids’ content, nature and wildlife series, which we believe remain popular
and were followed by over three million households in Zimbabwe alone
before they were stumped… after that ETV Botswana High Court case,”
“And based on the expected, and continued urbanisation of society, we are
not only confident of the growth in numbers, but Dr Dish can easily ride
on the 34670290 existing arrangements to re-launch that popular service.
As it is, we are in the process of recruiting dealers and installers for
our countrywide rollout programme, and also finalising a partnership with
the department of education,” he said, adding they were keen “leveraging
the country’s high literacy rate and educational record to replicate their
live, and pre-recorded tele-learning projects across the continent”.
With South Africa (SA)’s MultiChoice dominating the local market via its
200 000 household clients, the digital satellite company believes the cake
is big enough for everyone and where competition will essentially be
between four players, namely: the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, DsTV,
the yet-to-be licensed Kwese TV and Mlotshwa’s broadcasting outfit itself.
Apart from its educational products, the newly recapitalised entity is
also banking on its corporate-promotion services – a small, but
potentially profitable and greatest in revenue generation, and sales – and
extra growth opportunities across the continent and where the dominant
MultiChoice is servicing just under 10 million subscribers outside SA.
This leaves nearly 99 percent of Africa’s one billion population shut out
of screens and, hence, Dr Dish is targeting over 100 million people within
the next half decade.