Media houses urged to be creative as Ghana migrates to digital broadcasting

The CEO of the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications has implored media houses to be creative as the nation migrates from the analog to digital broadcasting.

Kwaku Sakyi-Addo says the move when completed would create space for additional radio and television stations to be licensed.

This, he believes would create a “fragmentation of the market” and put pressure on the limited advertising budget of companies.

Speaking at the 3rd Anniversary Panel of the Komla Dumor Foundation in Accra Wednesday, the communication specialist says a media house that fails to up its ante would be stripped of its advertisers.

The global target for nations to migrate from the analog to digital broadcasting was June 17, 2015, but Ghana could not meet that.

A new date of March 2016 was set for the migration in the country. A local company K-Net Limited won the $82 million contract to deploy digital infrastructure platform throughout the country.

The migration was in three phases with the first phase involving the installation of digital infrastructure in the Greater Accra and Ashanti regions.

The second phase covers the Northern, Upper East, Upper West and Volta regions while the third phase covers the Western, Eastern and Central regions.

The completion of the switch would means that there would be enough space for broadcasting content because digital broadcasting compresses material.

Mr Sakyi-Addo has wondered what media houses would do when they are faced with fierce competition.

“Now that we’ve found love what are we going to do with it and that’s the question for media owners, for journalists and practitioners,” he asked.

“What are you going to offer the people, what are you going to do with all the space when new radio and television stations are licensed?” he asked.

Meanwhile, Member of Parliament (MP) for Ofoase Ayirebi, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah who was a panelist advocated for public private partnership (PPP) in the migration process.

“My view is that we can deal with the challenges of the cost barrier, threat of junk been dump in our country, we can deal with challenge of even maintaining these old boxes by adopting methods that bring the private sector in,” he said.

The former host of Joy FM’s Super Morning Show said the involvement of the private players could be in the form of tax rebates which would empower them to bring into the country digital boxes.

He said the act would help the nation to focus its scarce resources in areas that need attention such as the revamping of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).