South African media company, Sabido (Pty) Limited, has acquired 49% of Gaborone Broadcasting Company (GBC). 51% is held by Mike Klinck, a Botswana banker, who acquired the station four years ago. Sabido is the holding company of South African based television free-to-air station e.tv.
When it launched 19-years ago, GBC was Botswana’s first television channel. It covers Gaborone and the surrounding areas, reaching a population of approximately 450 000. Its estimated active viewership is 160 000 and it broadcasts a mix of sitcoms, dramas, sport and factual programming. GBC has the exclusive free-to-air rights for Botswana to the UEFA Champions League – the world’s most prestigious football club tournament.
Sabido’s involvement will provide GBC with access to e.tv’s inventory of movies, dramas and sports programmes e.tv has operated in South Africa since 1998 and is the country’s only private commercial free-to-air television channel. It has a daily viewership of 10.6 million and is South Africa’s second most-watched television service.
Mike Klinck welcomes Sabido’s investment as a breakthrough for GBC. He added that “this is a fantastic development for the broadcasting Industry in Botswana”.
GBC General Manager Paul Beyl said the station is currently engaged in a market review to determine viewer needs and preferences and a new programming line-up will be announced in due course.