The Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) has stated that a decision by the Ministry of Communications to reduce its “six (6)” channels on the National Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) platform to “three (3) will collapse the public service broadcaster.
The “request will also impose serious budgetary and human resource challenges” on the operations of GBC.
GBC expressed these views in a protest letter dated 7 July 2020 to the National Media Commission (NMC), the content regulator.
Prof. Amin Alhassan, the GBC Director-General, was replying to an earlier “directive” from Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, Minister for Communications, instructing the state broadcaster to reduce the current six channels run by the station to three.
Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, the Minister for Communications in a letter dated 26 June 2020, to the state broadcaster with the subject “INTENTION TO REDUCE THE NUMBER OF CHANNELS GBC IS OPERATING ON THE NATIONAL DIGITAL TERRESTRIAL TELEVISION PLATFORM” indicated that the reduction in the channels will “ensure that there is redundancy on the National DTT platform which is currently at full capacity”.
“You will, therefore, be required to consolidate your programming in line with this directive. Kindly note that upon the planned future expansion of capacity on the network, which has been delayed due to the current pandemic and the uncertainties generated in global supply chains, you will be allocated additional channels,” the letter read further.
Ursula Owusu-Ekuful then gave the state broadcaster “within 60 days of receipt of this letter” to “take steps to implement this directive”.
But Prof Amin Alhassan, the Director-General of GBC, asked the NMC in that 7th July letter referenced, which has been seen by Ghanaweb, to urgently intervene on behalf of the state broadcaster.
Prof Alhassan explained that the six channels of GBC “are dedicated 24-hour channels each with specific focus reflecting the mandate of GBC as a state broadcaster, a public service broadcaster and a commercial broadcaster”.
In view of this, GBC is “unable to respond to the request”, Alhassan emphatically stated.
The TV channels GBC currently operates are GTV, GBC News, GTV Sports+, GBC Obonu, GTV Life and Ghana Learning TV.
Read below Amin Alhassan’s letter to the NMC: