Mozambique: Guebuza Launches Second Public TV Channel

Regulation & Policy

Mozambican President Armando Guebuza declared on Thursday that he hopes the second channel of the public television station, TVM, will be at the vanguard of broadcasting development-oriented content.

"We are sure that TVM's second channel will broadcast content that enriches our knowledge, thus creating opportunities for us to have more and better information for development", he said at the official launch of TVM-2.

Guebuza recognised that the investment made by TVM has allowed its signal to be received across the country. However, the major challenge was not for the television to penetrate the country, but for the country to penetrate the television - an indirect critique of the type of programmes that TVM broadcasts.

"Our expectation is that the new channel will increase the content that shows the role of the knowledge of our people in dealing with the challenges imposed by life", he said.

Guebuza thought it fundamental that the professionals of TVM-2, and of the Mozambican media in general, should pay attention to the content they broadcast "so that they do not fall into the trap that leads them to operate as mere machines that generate representations, factories of unattainable dreams and infinite mirages, that reduce the culture of work to a secondary role".

The launch of the new channel coincides with the 31st anniversary of the foundation of TVM, and Guebuza praised "the pioneer role of this television in broadcasting the most varied programmes of information, education and entertainment".

When it was launched in 1981, as Experimental Television (TVE) it could be received in only parts of Maputo and the neighbouring city of Matola. Today TVM covers almost all the 128 districts of Mozambique, and its signal can also be picked up in some neighbouring countries.

But whereas TVM was the only Mozambican TV station in the 1980s, today it faces stiff competition from three private stations, one of which is owned by the immensely rich Brazilian evangelical sect, the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (IURD).

With an increasing number of viewers watching cable or satellite TV, TVM is also competing against a wide range of international stations, including CNN, BBC, Al-Jazeera, and countless music and movie channels.