Reports reaching BEATWAVES indicate that the invasion of United Television (UTV), a free-to-air private-owned television station with nationwide coverage on the airwaves, has created panic among some television stations operating in the country.
The management of UTV, Despite Group of Companies, operators of Peace FM, Okay FM, and Hello FM, declared that the newly established TV station was set to lead the broadcasting and communication industry through quality programming which would promote the development and cultural aspirations of Ghana.
The studios and offices of the station were in the heart of the capital, Accra. The station boasted of a studio complex consisting of two large all-purpose studios with different departments.
The studios were equipped with modern facilities for video and sound recording as well as broadcast. The broadcast was done through transmitter sites, all belonging to the station and located in different parts of the country.
UTV was currently operating on test transmission in the Greater Accra, Ashanti, Central and Eastern regions, while transmission equipment were being fixed in the rest of the regions to give it a national coverage.
The station would bring some hope and air of freshness to television viewers, since it was entering the television industry at a time when complaints were on the increase that local television stations had become boring and relatively, not interesting compared to other countries.
BEATWAVESâ€™ research revealed that UTV viewership was largely cosmopolitan and cut across a broad spectrum of the different socio-economic groups in Ghana.
Current estimate was that UTV has attracted over 15 percent of the total television audience and its objective was to increase the figure when it started full operation.
The station, according to its management, would use a strategy of combining programme improvement and promotion as well as transmission coverage area enhancement, to increase its share of the audience.
Located in the Ship House that houses Okay FM and Peace FM at Abeka junction in Accra, UTV has already started raising eyebrows and its unrivalled clarity seems to have won the hearts of many. It is an HD station with ultramodern state-of-the-art equipment.
BEATWAVESâ€™ investigations showed that UTV would not be an all-English speaking television station, but would target an audience that cut across all classes of Ghanaians. Its medium of communication would therefore be Akan-dominated, followed by English and a bit of Ga and other languages.
The management of the station told BEATWAVES that it would give Ghanaians a local content television station that was handled with the professionalism that met international standards, adding that UTV was not going to be like any other stationâ€”it would be unique in its own way and endear itself to the hearts and minds of its viewers.
Though BEATWAVES would reserve the names of certain radio personalities who wanted to join UTV, very credible checks showed that four charming female presenters in GTV and Multi TV would soon be abandoning the national broadcasters to move to UTV.
Two names from TV3, a male and a female news anchor, were also said to have finalized talks with management of UTV just as a whole set of crew from Viasat1 would also be moving in exodus to the new station.
By George Clifford Owusu