Zimbabwean satellite station, 1st TV, shuts down just two months after launch

L.S.M Kabweza Avatar

1st-tvRemember 1st TV? Come on, you should. It’s that “Zimbabwe’s first free independent TV station” that launched just weeks before the elections. Ok, wrong event to associate them with. You probably remember them for springing up to the opportunity of South Africans pulling their SABC channels from our FTA decoders. 1st TV came quickly, literally appearing from nowhere. But as quickly as they came, they are gone.

They couldn’t sustain it commercially apparently, which is just too bad. According to a statement posted on their Facebook page a few days ago, the free to air satellite tv station went off air at the weekend. The statement says however that 1st TV will do a come back eventually when they figure out a sustainable commercial path.

Here’s part of the statement:

1st TV launched on the promise of one month’s financial support. We managed to extend that to two months. But as of now, we have to go off air while we raise more resources and source more programmes.

Therefore, 1st TV will temporarily suspend its current transmission at midnight this Saturday.

We know that many of you may feel let down by this but we can assure you that we will be back on air with a much more comprehensive programme schedule to suit your needs.
We believe that this platform cannot only provide the programming that you deserve, but that it can do so in a commercially viable fashion.

Our pledge to you, is that when we return it will be on a permanent basis and it will be with improved entertainment programming, more soaps, movies and dramas as well improved education, information and news programmes.

We’re guessing “commercially viable fashion” rules out donors (a source us Zimbos are fond of) and in investors, which we hope they find. In the meantime, it’s so long to 1st TV. We hope you return soon.

source: zimeye.org


  1. tinm@n

    One would imagine they wouldve some sort of planning and forecasting. Sounds to me this was an unnecessarily painful lesson… or there’s more to it. Remember the Gvt disproved of the station and was lobbying for the SA Gvt-owned Sentech to shut down transmission (http://www.herald.co.zw/govt-to-engage-zuma-over-pirate-broadcasts/ )

  2. Tirivashe Mundondo

    I am sure they will find investors, there is a lot of potential in their project. One only wish they had a forecast on this.

  3. job bhutsu

    it was just for the elections , hete, comeback to UK and do care work Blue Violet Gonda

  4. reality is

    They fulfilled their mission.

    1. garikai

      they failed.

  5. fany

    donor funded for a regime change agenda and wen the agenda failed on july 31 there was no mo need for funding a failed project.

    1. garikai


  6. Can online streaming take on Multichoice's monopoly? | Techzim

    […] content the Zimbabwean consumer does not have a lot of options. With the closure of options like 1st TV, GOtv and FTA decoders  it’s either you are subscribing to Multichoice (legally or illegally), […]