Investigations conducted by Myjoyonline.com have revealed that television stations telecasting the election petition hearing at the Supreme Court, lose as much as Gh¢ 47,680 daily.
GTV, TV3, Metro TV are free-to-air (FTA) TV stations covering the hearing of election petition in which three petitioners from the New Patriotic Party (NPP) are challenging the Electoral Commission’s declaration of John Dramani Mahama as winner of 2012 presidential elections.
The petitioners are Jake Obestibi-Lamptey (National Chairman), Nana Akufo-Addo (2012 Presidential candidate) and Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia (2012 Vice-Presidential candidate).
The losses incurred by these FTA stations cover paid-for programs that have been temporarily taken off air, production costs, unexecuted advertisements and estimated opportunity costs.
According to Mr. Oscar Nchor, Director of Technical Production at Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC), it costs the national broadcaster about Gh¢ 14,700 daily to produce live proceedings at the Supreme Court. Mr. Nchor said other costs yet to be factored in, are transmission and opportunity costs.
Sources at Metro TV and TV3 have intimated that they lose between Gh¢ 15, 000 to Gh¢ 17,000 per day in revenue. These stations incur no production cost because they take the live feed from GTV for free.
However programs that have been paid for and advertising spots that companies have secured on TV programs have been affected as a result of the coverage.
A manager at TV3 who spoke to Myjoyonline.com on condition of anonymity said, Management have been meeting regularly to review the effects of having to broadcast proceedings on revenue generation.
Asked how long they could go on broadcasting proceedings, one manager said it depended on the level of visible public enthusiasm.
“We have our research team in town to gauge the level of enthusiasm”, he revealed. When pressed to predict how long this could go on, he added it was their expectation that proceedings will end within two months or less.
They said their clients understood the importance of the momentous national event happening at the Supreme Court but a lengthy trial is likely to erode any appreciation for their suspended programs and adverts.
Acting Director of Corporate Affairs at GBC, Alhaji Hamidu B. Chodi said, the Corporation is indemnified against legal actions that may ensue out of not executing adverts and programs. This situation however would ultimately not augur well for the corporate image of GBC.
Investigations also show that about 28 TV programs are taken off air each day to make way for the live telecast aired between 10: 00am and 5:00pm. GTV and Metro TV have taken off 10 programs each whiles TV3 has taken off 8 programs.
The value of this landmark case is as unassailable as the cost it has on running TV stations. With proceedings entering week three, day 8, the need for calculators are not going to be exclusive to the witness, Dr. Bawumia and lawyer Tony Lithur.
So far a total of GHC 429120, worth 9 days of revenue have been lost to TV stations. And as each day passes by in this epic case you can now know the cost and the cost shall set you – thinking.