Botswana TV is the national broadcaster in Botswana. Botswana's first national television service started in 2000 following a 1997 government decision. The station delivers eight hours of local and international programmes daily on weekdays and 10 hours of programming on weekends. Since it was launched on 31 July 2000, BTV has established itself at the centre of Botswana's viewing habits.
The station has committed itself to provide at least 60% local content to meet the diverse needs of Batswana. According to its guiding principles, the station is upbeat and forward looking, and seeks to align its strategy with the national vision, Vision 2016. It recognizes that the majority of Batswana are young people, and that Botswana has diverse cultural and language groups. It also recognizes that Botswana is part of an integrated global village and has to compete effectively.
BTV is the first station in Africa and the second in the world after ITN (UK-based Independent Television News) to fully utilise digital technology. It signal is carried on a PAS 7 satellite with a significant footprint, which covers the whole country, and most of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region. The station is fully Serial Digital Video, 4:3 and 16:9 switchable, but with the flexibility of analogue with dual language stereo capabilities.
The station uses the Quantel Inspiration System for processing and transmission with the news processing software ENPS (Electronic News Production System) in the newsroom. Its server-based technology gives the news the speed and flexibility sought by journalists and news editors.
To cover the wide area of the country, two satellite News Gathering (SNG) teams are based in the North and North-West - Francistown and Maun respectively. Their area of responsibility stretches from Palapye/Serowe to the border with Zimbabwe and Zambia. The Maun team also covers Ghanzi the extreme West.
The station already provides a great outlet for advertisers because of its coverage. The client base has been gradually increasing since launch. With SADC secretariat based in Gaborone, BTV is expected to play a significant role in driving Botswana's vision of becoming the financial services centre for the region and attracting investors to Botswana. As it grows, the station expects to play a crucial role in the development of the television industry in Botswana.