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False start for Maru TV

Publishing Date : 13 March, 2018


A subsidiary of Clouds media group, local channel Maru TV has been launched on DStv channel 291 and is available in almost all the bouquets.

In less than a week of airing what was supposed to be a welcome development has instead seen critics come out with guns blazing accusing the channel of not representing Botswana’s talent well. The view is that Botswana production houses are better than what Maru TV is airing.

Social media was set ablaze this week with viewers criticizing the programmes aired on the channel. Many were of the view that quality was being compromised as shortcuts were employed in the production process. Critics cited bad picture quality, bad sound and a display of non- professionalism in their content.

Of great concern was how the channel, being on a platform such as DStv had great potential of marketing the country and its people, and yet it was having the negative effect.  In an interview with WeekendLife, one of the Maru TV Directors Douglas Mwangi said they are still learning and have since given themselves three months to up their game.

“We take critiques and we hope to grow from them, we are very serious and want to grow,” he said. He also said that they were working around the clock to launch a 24 hour news channel which will complement the edutainment TV. Maru was licensed by Botswana Communications Regulatory Authority (BOCRA) on the 23rd June 2017 and their target was to craft a youth based television channel that will address the needs of the youth.

Mwangi also said the broadcasting equipment is very expensive and they are operating from a low budget. “We started small and we will grow, we bought a new mixer to address the issue of sound.” He also said the reason why they decided to launch on DStv is because they wanted a lot of coverage thus that’s why they opted to operate on free- to- air.         

On Tuesday MultiChoice Botswana announced the addition of Maru TV (Clouds TV), a free-to- air general entertainment channel with a 60% local content promise, onto DStv. Maru TV is now available across all DStv packages starting from 06 March 2018 on Channel 291.
In line with its purpose of enriching lives, MultiChoice Botswana said they are committed to making great content more accessible in the communities in which the business operates. Investing in the promotion of local entertainment through the adoption of channels such as Maru TV onto the DStv platform, allows MultiChoice Botswana to provide their viewers with access to content that directly resonates with them.

MultiChoice Botswana General Manager, Theo Erasmus said, “The inclusion of a local channel which promises a variety of locally produced content, made for Batswana by Batswana, is a huge milestone not only for MultiChoice Botswana but for our valued customers as well.”

Maru TV is set to provide the Batswana audience with a mix of local and international content catering mostly to the youth to middle- aged viewer. “Content on Maru TV will be mostly driven by viewership demands with a focus on general entertainment, local news, religious programmes, kiddies content, finance, economic and business debates and more,” said Maru TV CEO, Ali Mwimbe. Though majority of local content will be produced in- house on location at red TV studios, local producers are encouraged to get into contact with the Channel Management team for the submission of their productions.



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