14 July 2017

Malawi: Beta TV Goes Off Air, Leaving Staff Unpaid

One of the country's private-owned televisions, Beta TV has suddenly vanished from the airwaves due to financial constraints despite acquiring a K266 million per season rights to broadcast live TNM Super League Games in 2016, Nyasa Times can reveal.

Beta TV which made headlines due to its live coverage of TNM Super League games has been off air for the past four days, and its employees have been informed of the shutdown in an emergency meeting on Thursday.

Station Manager, Jimmy Kwizimbe could not answer his phone when contacted, but some of the affected employees confirmed to Nyasa Times that the television station has been closed due to financial hiccups.

"The management told us today (Thursday) in a meeting that they are closing the station because there is no money and that it has been making losses since it started operating as no business has been coming in," disclosed on of the employees who opted for anonymity.

It has been revealed that some of the employees haven't been paid their salaries for almost two years now, and that others have not been paid since February this year.

"Others were fired recently without being paid their dues. It's pathetic situation."

Beta TV transmitting on channels 814 (GOtv), 112 (MDBN- Kiliye Kiliye) and 053 (Zuku TV) in July, 2016 acquired three-year broadcasting rights-at K266 million per season- from the Super League of Malawi (Sulom) to beam Super League games live.

The television acquired the rights after outbidding other private owned televisions Times TV and Matindi TV, however local viewers were given a raw deal as the live coverage was not the expected standard.

Local private televisions are having a tough ride to operate due to lack of funds a situation most critics have attributed to lack of objectivity and creativity on the part of television proprietors as most of the TV stations depend on foreign content instead of investing in locally produced content that has potential of attracting sponsorships.

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