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Zimbabwe: Gtv's Arrival in Zimbabwe Imminent

GTV'S arrival in Zimbabwe is imminent and it has already started advertising in the local media.

The little-known satellite broadcaster has become popular with football lovers after it won rights to screen 80 percent of the English Premiership games per season, including all the high-profile matches involving the traditional giants - Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United.

It will also broadcast all the matches with a bearing on both the championship and relegation with an average of 10 live matches per weekend although they do not have rights over the other popular football competitions like the Uefa Champions League, La Liga and the English FA Cup. Gateway Broadcast Services, a wholly owned subsidiary of Gateway Communications, is the provider of the GTV satellite Direct To Home television service across sub-Saharan Africa. Gateway Communications is a leading satellite communications company serving African telecoms operators and corporations. GTV was founded by Julian McIntyre, who helped establish Gateway Communications in 2001.

In an advert yesterday, GTV representatives promised Zimbabweans that they would soon be available. "GTV is the official home of the Barclays Premier League. We are currently at advanced stages of making the world's premier sporting festival available to you.

"Look out for the exciting news coming your way soon, and get ready to bring the best of football to your home . . . at the most affordable subscription ever. This came amid reports that GTV services are already available in Harare where an agent is reportedly selling the GTV kit (satellite dish, decoder, remote control and smart card) for US$200 while a further US$35 will be required for a monthly subscription. GTV are currently legally operating in Botswana, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda but have grown popular in Africa after clinching television rights to screen 80 percent of the English Premiership matches in African countries outside South Africa and Nigeria.

MultiChoice, who used to beam 380 English Premiership matches a season courtesy of SuperSport in all the African countries they operate, have had their coverage reduced to just 80 matches for countries other than South Africa since the start of the season, a situation that will prevail until May 2010.

(The Herald (Harare), 8 September 2007)

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