In 2019, NOW! TV and MultiChoice Botswana partnered with the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development to bring NOW! TV on the DStv platform.
The partnership was done in an effort to ensure that more Batswana could access home-grown content.
Three years later, NOW! TV and MultiChoice are reflecting on the impact made on the local creative industry. “Since we first opened our doors for business in 1992, we always had our sights set on not only providing the best in exclusive international content, live sport, news and kiddies content for our local customers, But have also eventually being able to showcase our own stories, told by the people of the republic,” commented Lorato Mwape, MultiChoice Botswana’s managing director.
Mwape added that it has been a long journey as the local film industry also needed time to take shape and cement itself. “However, when the opportunity arose for us to partner with the government to achieve a shared objective of igniting the local creative industry, it was an opportunity we could not miss.
As a result of a government mandate to create spaces to empower, uplift and enrich the youth of Botswana, the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Culture Development launched NOW! TV in March 2018 on a Direct-to-Terrestrial basis which required viewers to be in possession of a set-top box to access the channel. Speaking on NOW! TV’s decision to approach MultiChoice Botswana to be added onto the DStv Platform, Eric Paulo, media management and transmission officer at NOW! TV said ‘’when they launched in 2018, they were inundated with requests from the general public for the channel to be more accessible as the availability of set-top boxes was limited at the time. “We knew that we needed the
Three years since the channel launched, the first of its kind focusing on youth generated and youth focused content, NOW! TV shares that, despite the challenges they have experienced they find comfort in the fact that their original objective which was set out when the channel began has come to fruition. “When we put out the tender for local content four years ago, the amount of content we received was beyond our expectations,” Legae Digwamaaje, content acquisition officer for NOW! TV added. Digwamaaje said the market was clearly hungry and with the absence of platforms for it to be shared, they were faced with endless and idle content.
According to the NOW! TV team, the initial content acquisition took about four months to complete due to government tendering processes and other teething issues that come with starting a new channel from scratch. Despite the initial challenges experienced, the channel maintains that its growth since 2018 has largely been due to the fact that content creators have received increased exposure through the DStv platform and the channel’s digital adaptations.
“We’ve seen an exponential growth and improvement in the quality of the content we now receive, and this is largely due to the fact that there is now an available platform that guarantees significant reach,” Digwamaaje highlighted.
NOW! TV can be accessed on DStv Channel 290, and online at http://nowtv.gov.bw.