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Government Defends Decision To Shut Down 3 GBC Channels

The government has defended its directive to the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) to shut down three of its channels. 

“The fact still remains that the sole multi-channel through which broadcasting can be transmitted in this country, for now, is full to capacity. There is absolutely no redundancy on it. For us as a country it is dangerous to be in this situation,” the Minister for Communications, Ursula Owusu-Ekufful, told the media.

The Minister, in a letter to the Director-General for the state broadcaster, explained the move is to free up space on the DTT platform which she argues is full.

Her directive did not go down well with the state-owned broadcaster, whose board has taken the issue to the National Media Commission for redress.

GBC has five channels on the DTT platform, but the Communications minister wants the public broadcaster to consolidate its channels to three.

The company currently operates, GBC News (GTV Governance and GBC 24 merged), Obonu TV, GTV Life, GTV, GTV Sports Plus,

The Minority, through its member on Parliament’s Communications Committee, criticized the government over the directive to GBC.

They have accused the minister of stampeding the work of the state broadcaster.

But speaking to the media, Mrs. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful said she was operating within her rights to free up space on the DTT platform.

According to her, the NMC cannot compel the ministry to take back the directive.

“Pending the acquisition of an additional multiplex which will provide for more capacity on that and it has absolutely nothing to do with spectrum…it is the multiplex which has capacity challenges and not spectrum and until such time as we acquire an additional multiplex to provide channels for broadcasting in this country.

“We have no other means of doing so and so a responsible ministry in a responsible government has taken the only means available to it at this time to sit with those who have excess capacity on that multiplex to cede some of it for the security of our own state,” he said.

 

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