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LOCAL-CONTENT LAW SPURS PUBCASTER TO AX SHOWS.

Pubcaster Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corp. (ZBC) has pulled the plug on programs from fledgling pan-African broadcaster the African Broadcast Network (ABN).

Under a barter arrangement, ABN rented an hour a night on ZBC to air sudser "Passions" and comedies including "Everybody Loves Raymond." ABN sold advertising during that hour and split the revenues with ZBC.

ABN's Johannesburg-based VP James Makawa said he understood the deal, inked in February, was sunk due to a new Broadcasting Services Act that calls for 75% local programming. The ABN, which launched in January, has similar deals with broadcasters in Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya and Zambia. The Zambian National Broadcasting Corp. (ZNBC) aims to double its contract with ABN to two hours a day.

ZNBC marketing director Joseph Salasini said ABN programming had been well received, auds were growing and the quality of programming had improved. He said it also had agreed, in principle, to air ABN's "Movie of the Week" during a primetime weekend slot.

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Comment:LOCAL-CONTENT LAW SPURS PUBCASTER TO AX SHOWS.
Author:Pearson, Bryan
Publication:Variety
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:6ZIMB
Date:May 21, 2001
Words:159
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