The Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development (MYSCD) last Thursday launched the long overdue youth television channel called Now TV.
The channel is broadcast throughout Botswana on the Digital Terrestrial Platform that requires an ISDB-T Set-top-box. The channel is now available on satellite free-to-air (no subscription fees) via dvb-S2 MPEG-4.
The youth channel’s broadcast time will be limited to four hours a day. It will play 100% local content. Officially launching the channel youth minister, Thapelo Olopeng said the project started with a limited budget of P10 million.
“Content was acquired from local production companies through an Expression of Interest. The key condition was that it should be local content. Over 40 companies showed interest and we were able to procure from 22 companies due to a limited budget,” he recalled.
Olopeng said Now TV is a dream that started in late 2015 because they dreamt of introducing a new medium of expression, entertainment and engagement for young people in the country, and the idea of a Youth Television Channel was born.
“To achieve this dream we first went through a process to seek permission from government as the broadcasting portfolio resides in another ministry. We were happy when Cabinet dully granted this. Then followed the conceptualisation, planning, resource mobilisation and execution,” he said.
He added that young Batswana have been educated in some of the best
“We are offering a variety of genres ranging from sport, comedy, talk show, drama, soapies and documentary to mention but a few, all created by Batswana youth. They are all fresh, new content that is exclusive to our Youth TV Channel,” he highlighted.
Olopeng said they would continue to engage with content creators for the long-term sustainability of the service.
He said the channel is an outcome of a long standing collaboration between MYSCD and the Ministry of Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration.
Olopeng further emphasised that MYSCD benefited from the technical and production expertise of the Department of Broadcasting Services (DBS) who facilitated the preparations in the build up to the delivery of the channel.
He also commended Limkokwing University of Creative Technology for the support and contribution to the channel.
Olopeng said going forward, the Youth Channel will seek to be self-financing through commercial ventures in partnership with private sector investors.
He urged all young people to take advantage of the Channel to improve their lives. “This is an opportunity for you to show off your creativity by developing new programmes that will educate and entertain our audiences.”