ZNBC in need of K 2 bn. to televise AFCON

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The Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) is scouting for K2 billion (US$376,000) to enable it televise the 2012 Orange Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) slated for Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.

ZNBC spokesperson Masuzyo Ndlovu said the owners of the AFCON television rights have reduced the package from the initial K3.2 billion to K2 billion and that the corporation was still negotiating to get the amount reduced further.

Ndlovu said APNEX was negotiating with ZNBC on behalf of the holders of the rights adding that the national broadcaster had since sent out appeals for sponsorship to the corporate world knowing how important the AFCON is to local viewers.

"At the moment we are still negotiating with the owners of the rights and at the same time we have appealed to sponsors to come on board so that the Zambian people can be able to watch the games on their national broadcaster," he said.

He said ZNBC had joined hands with other national broadcasters in petitioning the African Union of Broadcasting (AUB) to mitigate in the negotiations for the broadcast rights of the AFCON which runs from January 21 to February 12.

The ZNBC spokesperson said the corporation was doing everything possible to ensure they secure the broadcast rights for the biennial championship in which Zambia is grouped with co-hosts Equatorial Guinea, Libya and Senegal in Group A.

There has been public outcry for ZNBC to screen the AFCON tournament arguing that sponsorship for such an event should have been secured a long time ago, with the general view that it is tournaments of this magnitude why people pay TV levy.

However, it is not ZNBC alone who are struggling to beam the AFCON with both Botswana Television (BTV) and the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) recently describing the exorbitant AFCON broadcast rights asking price as unreasonable.