Times Group Limited has said it will engage another gear in its media pioneering role in Malawi when in the next 18 months it is going to introduce the first independent national television station.
Leonard Chikadya, managing director for Times Group says they have been busy since getting the Electronic Television Licence.
“Since we have 18 months to introduce the first independent television in the country, we have been consulting experts in other countries,” said Chikadya.
He said he has been going to South Africa where he has been engaging into discussion with key players in the television industries.
“We will try to emulate those that have launched a low budget television station like in India. Initially we were working on a very expensive business model,” said Chikadya.
“I will be flying to India to coax partners because a project of this magnitude you cannot go it alone. Everything looks promising” he said.
Investments in digital migrations
Chikadya also disclosed that government has also said it has invested close to K300 million in digital migrations which now make the company’s TV project easy.
“Initially we were planning to have satellites in all the places across the country, which would have made the project cumbersome,” he said..
At the moment, he said they have already engaged engineers from Sony who have already inspected the building where the television broadcasting station will be housed.
“Engineers from Sony have already been here to ascertain what will be required and how much it will cost. We will be acquiring state of the art cameras to start collecting materials,” he said.
Chikadya said not all is dull and gloom for the company ‘as this project gives us something to smile about and hope for’ in reference so challenges the newspaper section has faced in acquiring a state of the art news web machine.
He said the company was given all the assurance by the supplier that the container carrying the machine has gone the high seas and was expected to be in Malawi in October 2012.
“Two problems; due to labour unrest the ship was delayed at Mauritius Port where it was also supposed to off-load some cargo, it also faced the same scenario at a Durban port in South Africa. And they have been delayed by close to four weeks,” explained Chikadya.
He said the equipment is expected to be delivered to Malawi by the end of this month.