MultiChoice Zambia, via GOtv, went to court to seek a declaration that the operation of a public signal network by TopStar is illegal and unlawful. The satellite TV company also wants the court to grant an injunction, restraining ZNBC from interfering with the local channels broadcasting free to air, until the matter is fully determined.
The Zambian high court has favoured Multichoice Zambia instead of the joint venture of Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation and StarTimes via TopStar which holds 60% of ZNBC Ownership and will collect all ZNBC advertising revenue for the next 25 years.
The revenue collected will go towards the servicing a USD 273 million loan obtained by the Zambian government from the Export-Import Bank of China for investment in digital broadcast networking and the construction of provincial studios.
The ZBNC, TopStar deal has not made everyone happy since many stakeholders are not in favor of a foreign power taking hold of the historical broadcaster. Political parties have already complained about the loss of sovereignty this venture implies. However, the Minister of Information and Broadcasting has declared that the deal is permanent and never to be reversed.