Information Minister Dora Siliya says ZNBC did not acquire the rights to broadcast the ongoing FIFA Russia 2018 World Cup games because the corporation could not afford to pay $750,000.

Siliya said this in Parliament, Tuesday, in response to a question from Kafue UPND member of parliament Mirriam Chonya who wanted to know why ZNBC rejected the offer from Kwese TV to broadcast the matches.

In her response, Siliya said ZNBC did not allow Kwese TV to broadcast the matches because the two could not agree on the terms of the offer.

“I would like to inform the House that FIFA has different categories for World Cup broadcast rights. The public broadcaster such as ZNBC would have to pay about $750,000 to acquire broadcast rights for all the 64 [football] matches. The Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation did not acquire the rights to broadcast the ongoing FIFA Russia 2018 World Cup Matches. The Zambia National Broad Corporation did not reject the offer by Kwese TV broadcasting the matches but rather could not agree on the terms of the offer and the cost charged by Kwese TV which was $100,000 for only 32 of the 64 live matches. And Kwese did demand for a 50 percent share revenue from all the advertising during the matches,” Siliya said.

And Siliya said Kwese TV was removed from the Topstar platform because it could not sign a service level agreement on the commercial terms and conditions.

“Mr Speaker Kwese TV was originally carried on the Topstar network before the analogue switch off which occurred on 1st October 2017. This, however, changed as the two parties needed to sign a service level agreement and agree on commercial terms and conditions for the carriage of the channel.and as you are aware Mr Speaker, this affected all the other channels and not just Kwese. And since the cut-off from analogue in 2017, 18 local channels have since been put on the platform and 28 are foreign channels. However Kwese, and the catholic TV and Kenmark Tv have not yet been put on the platform,” she said.

Meanwhile Siliya said the fact that Topstar was broadcasting the games live, it meant that ZNBC was equally involved.

“Mr Speaker ZNBC is part of the special purpose vehicle for Topstar and so in this case the fact that Topstar on their platform they are actually broadcasting the football, it does actually mean that ZNBC is involved and I think at this point Zambians are not failing to watch football. I think the important point to emphasise is that should one signal carrier be also be a content carrier. And I have verified that we have made that observation and since then, IBA has been asked to actually harmonise this situation so that we follow our own rules that if one is a signal carrier, they will not be a content carrier,” said Siliya.