Sithole slams ZBC over CAF screening failure

footballHARARE - International Olympic Committee Director Tommy Sithole has castigated the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings' monopoly, which he said was the reason for their failure to screen the African Cup of Nations which kicked off in Angola at the weekend.

Speaking during the Sports Writers Association (SWAZ) forum run under the theme “REVITALISING THE SPORTS WRITING BUSINESS, ENHANCING ETHICAL JOURNALISM”, the former Herald Editor castigated the state broadcaster for their monopoly and lack of meticulous planning following their failure to show the continental football showcase after they failed to buy the television rights required for them to screen the match. The Confederation of African Football (Caf) had indicated that they needed some US$5 million for the matches to be held on ZTV.

“There is nothing surprising about these figures because they knew them for the past two years. These figures were set almost two years ago and now ZBC appears to give the impression that the figures were set up yesterday. It doesn’t make sense to deny the public a right to watch the Nations Cup tournament. How can our country fail watch a tournament of such magnitude when countries like Burkina Faso, Djibouti and Central African Republic can watch it. Can we be compared to these countries? fumed Sithole.

The nations cup tournament roared into life in Luanda on Sunday with hosts Angola taking on Mali in a Group A encounter.

Major tournaments like the Nations Cup and the World Cup, which this year will be staged in Africa for the first time when South Africa host the event, have in the past been screened regularly for ZTVs viewers.

“Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings regrets to advise that rights for the broadcasting of the Africa Cup of Nations which will be held in Angola, starting this Sunday, 10 January, 2010, have not been secured due to the high costs involved, said ZBC public relations manager Sivukile Simango.

“ZBH does not have that kind of money to spend on a tournament which only lasts 22 days. He said ZBC would endeavour to give its viewers regular updates of scores and events.

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