Botswana: etv invests ‘millions of pulas’ to acquire GBC TV and goes national


Following a multi-million pula deal with South Africa's private television station etv, Gaborone Broadcasting Corporation (GBC TV) is prepared to go national and give viewers quality programming and content.

51 percent shareholder of GBC TV, Mike Klinck revealed prospects of quality programming and broadcasting national, after Sabido (Pty) Ltd a company that owns etv injected millions of Pulas as part of its 49 percent acquisition of GBC TV.

Klinck said the deal, which etv signed this April to acquire 49 percent of GBC TV has given the station an opportunity to grow and become the country's best free to air television in the country. "Not only that, the deals brings etv's inventory of dramas and sport programmes. There will also be training opportunities for GBC staff. As a result of this investment GBC TV is well capitalized to broadcast national," he said.

He said partnering with etv does not mean importing programs from the popular television. "Of course we will benefit from etv movies because theirs are always up-to-date," he pointed out. GBC TV Director explained that in terms of going national, GBC TV has applied for a national license from the Broadcasting Board. He said: "We applied for this license in September 2005, and it was understandable why the Broadcasting Board held it back. It was because we did not have resources to go national. Now that we have adequate resources, we hope in a few months, we will go national. There are enough resources to support expansion. There are exciting times ahead of viewers as GBC TV continue to be the best," he assured.

GBC TV General Manager Paul Beyl said at the moment, they are doing a market research to determine which programs would work for the local viewers. "We will soon be bringing new equipment in the next few weeks and building up our signal. State-of-the-art transmission center and audio-digital mix will be purchased. Other quality equipment will be bought to enhance quality at GBC TV. People will see the difference. We are in the process to have a national license so we broadcast national," he said.

Beyl has amazing 20 years of experience in the television industry. Before coming to GBC TV, he worked for SABC and MNet for about 6 years. He then went into freelance where he worked on television projects in Zimbabwe, Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria, the Emirates and Egypt. He worked for TV Africa as an Executive responsible for sport, planning for outside broadcasts and dealing with freelancers. He then worked for etv, where he spent seven months in Lagos, Nigeria working on etv projects. "I have to get GBC TV running. Viewers should be patient, because we have to work on a few operational things. In a few months, they will be happy," he said.

The Voice