The Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) has written to the National Media Commission (NMC) for urgent help after it was asked to reduce its channels from six to three by the Communications Ministry.
The directive “will virtually mean that GBC will have to reduce its operations by half,” the Corporation noted in a letter to the Commission.
A reduction in channels could lead to “serious budgetary and human resource challenges… and indeed can collapse the Public Service Broadcaster,” it warned further
“It is with these implications in mind that the Board of Directors has instructed me to communicate this to the National Media Commission and request your urgent intervention on behalf of GBC.”
The Corporation further argued that, given the diverse nature of its various stations, it is “unable to respond to the request of the Hon. Minister of Communication.”
The six stations under GBC are GTV, GBC News, GTV Sports+, Obonu TV, GTV Life and Ghana Learning TV.
The directive came in a June 26 letter signed by the Communications Minister, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful.
The Ministry’s directive is to take effect 60 days from June 26, 2020.
Mrs. Owusu-Ekuful defended the order to the GBC noting that it had become unsustainable for the government to be covering the cost of the GBC’s channels on the National Digital Terrestrial Television platform.
“If we are going to hand that cost completely to the broadcasting channels at this time when there is a general business slowdown… we will have a problem because, on the basis of the figures I have seen, you will be unable to pay for the cost of hosting the platform,” she explained.
The Minority in Parliament, however, jumped to the defence of the GBC.
It said the request from the Communications Ministry was unlawful because it did not have the remit to take such a decision.
Find below the letter