Government has stopped MultiChoice Malawi from rolling out its low cost GOtv, which was launched in January, because it was operating illegally.
Minister of Information and Civic Education Moses Kunkuyu confirmed the development, according to a report in the Malawi News of Saturday.
“What I have on my desk is that GOtv was stopped to roll out because there are irregularities with its licensing,” Kunkuyu said as quoted by Malawi News.
Kunkuyu parried away accusations that he directly involved in bringing GOtv into the country, blaming what he dubbed as “an on-going smear campaign” within the Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) and the Ministry of Information to tarnish his name. He did not elaborate.
MACRA officials declined to comment on the matter although, as regulators, they awarded GOtv its operating licence.
Malawi is expected to switch to digital broadcasting by 31 December 3013 and has already unveiled its Digital Migration Communication Strategy expected to provide a framework for communication of the Digital Broadcasting Migration Project.
Under digital transmission, all television service consumers will be required to have decoders to watch all television programming, including MBC.
The new technology will enable consumers to receive several television channels with high quality pictures and sound at once.
Recently, Macra defended its decision to allow MBC to be on Digital Satellite Television (DStv) platform.
“MultiChoice Malawi was licensed by MACRA and as part of their (MultiChoice) license conditions, MultiChoice are supposed to carry on their bouquet the public broadcaster,” said Macra’s assistant communications officer, Tawonga Kayira.
Meanwhile, despite the order for it to stop rolling out its services, GOtv is still operating. It is currently only available to residents of Blantyre and those within the commercial city’s 100 kilometres radius.
During the launch, MultiChoice Malawi Marketing and sales manager Chimwemwe Nyirenda said GOtv is selling at K36, 500 for a full package, inclusive of decoder, and three months subscription for GOtv plus.
Those on GOtv are able to access DStv channels such as African Magic, Africa Magic Movies, Blackbelt tv, Disney Junior, CNN, Supersport Blitz, Select Sports, Discovery World, NatGeo Wild and Channel O. The other added channel is BET which is not available on DStv.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :