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Thursday, September 24, 2020

Crystal TV fights Ursula over DTT channel cut directive


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rivately-owned Crystal TV has said it is “vehemently opposed” to a directive from the Minister of Communication, Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, to the station to reduce its three channels on the used-up 40-channel Digital Terrestrial Television platform.

In a letter to the Minister, Crystal TV said obeying the directive will amount to destroying jobs and exacerbating the unemployment challenges in the country.

It has, thus, urged the Ministry of Communication to review and withdraw the directive, which was contained in a 26 June 2020 letter that also affects state broadcaster GBC.

The management of Crystal TV said having had its channels authorised within the terrestrial sphere by the National Communications Authority, they can only be operated “on the only platform in the country which is permitted to carry FTA services.”

“Therefore, removing any of our channels from the National DTT platform, will render the NCA authorisation unusable,” the letter said, noting that the directive, “automatically amounts to closing down the operations of our duly-authorised free-to-air broadcasting entities of over 25 years in existence,” Crystal TV argued.

“The directive, therefore, amounts to the revocation of the NCA authorisation as it will be rendered useless.”

“We will find solutions that will reduce the financial burden on the central government in the running of the DTT platform and yet accommodate the free-to-air public broadcasting services which are adequately provided by the state broadcaster and private broadcast entities while paying the appropriate fee to continue providing the masses with the critical indispensable and necessary processes needed in a truly democratic and free society”, the management said.

“We think as the ministry with oversight and responsibility for the growth and sustenance of the telecommunication industry in Ghana, you should be doing more to ease the constraints brought on by COVID-19, especially toward the broadcasting industry.”


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