Acting RURA Director General, Regis Gatarayiha
Rwandans will soon enjoy a wider choice of television with two new stations on the horizon.
Tele 10 Group of companies and Family TV owned by a local company, Beat Entertainment, have been given the nod by Rwanda Media High Council (MHC) to apply for transmission permits.
The permits are issued by the Rwanda Utility Regulatory Agency (RURA).
Speaking to The New Times, yesterday, Emmanuel Mugisha, the Executive Secretary of the MHC, said that several other channels, including Nation Media Group, and MSG owned by Crystal Ventures Ltd are also gearing to start operations.
â€œWe analysed Tele 10 and Family TV applications and have granted them licences. Both channelsâ€™ broadcasting documents comply with the law. Others are still under assessment,â€ Mugisha revealed.
The two stations join state-run Rwanda Television (TVR).
They will start broadcasting once the country has fully migrated from analogue to digital.
According to officials from Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Agency (RURA), Rwanda is set to attain full migration to digital broadcasting by the end of 2012.
â€œAs we shift to the digital era, TV stations will be known as content service providers instead of TV stations because they will no longer be operating under frequencies but through signals,â€ he explained.
â€œTele 10 is now working on the content list, creating a team and importing the studio equipment which is set to be delivered sometime in June or July 2012. We should start broadcasting in September 2012 but this will depend on RURAâ€™s pace to migrate analogue transmission to Digital,â€ Eugene Nyagahene, the Chief Executive Officer of Tele 10, said.
Nyagahene stated that his company will invest $1 million (approximately Rwf600m) in the station, noting that they will spend about $200,000 (approx. Rwf120m) on human resource training.
â€œContent is the king. A big chunk of money will be spent on international content such as sports, movies and buying news from international networks. We will also give priority to local content such as documentaries, news and music,â€ he said.
However, RURA says it is yet to receive any request for permits.
â€œWe donâ€™t have pending applications from those channels, perhaps they are still thinking about it, but we havenâ€™t seen any,â€ Regis Gatarayiha, Director General of RURA, said.
The EAC set a deadline of December 2012 for all member states to have switched to digital broadcasting.
By Frank Kanyesigye, The New Times