The National Communications Authority (NCA) has embarked on an exercise to shut down 49 Television (TV) stations for operating without authorisation.
It forms part of an exercise to sanitise the media space due to the wanton violation of regulations following an influx of TV operators.
The NCA released a list of offenders barely 24 hours after shutting down Thunder TV and Ice 1 TV, both operated by popular spiritualist Patricia Asiedu, popularly known as Nana Agradaa.
Nana Agradaa, who openly advertises money-doubling rituals dubbed ‘Sika Gari’, was arrested when the security team stormed the premises of her TV stations.
The clampdown of illegal TVs has been scaled up across the country.
“This forms part of a continuous monitoring exercise conducted on various Satellite Free-to-Air Television platforms using the Broadcast Monitoring System (BMS) and the Radio Spectrum Monitoring System (RSMS),” the NCA said in a statement on Wednesday, April 21.
The NCA said the stations to be affected were operating without valid authorisations, contrary to Section 2(4) of the Electronic Communications Act 775 of 2008, which states that ‘Except as provided by this Act or any other law not inconsistent with this Act, a person shall not operate a broadcasting system or provide a broadcasting service without a frequency authorisation by the Authority’.
As a result, forty-nine channels have been identified to be operating without valid Authorisations from the NCA and are being shut down accordingly.
The exercise is being done in conjunction with the Ghana Police Service and National Security Intelligence Operatives.
The NCA said it would continue monitoring to ensure the efficient use of the Television spectrum.
“We also take the opportunity to caution all Licence and Authorisation holders to ensure that their Licences and Authorisations are always up-to-date and in compliance with the stated terms and conditions,” the NCA added.
NCA shuts down 57 FM stations
In 2019, the NCA took a similar decision against defaulting Frequency Modulation (FM) stations resulting in a shutdown of 57 operators.
This was after an audit of all FM stations in the country in 2017.
Initially, fines were imposed on the stations with expired authorisations.
Some of the aggrieved operators filed individual cases, and others did so jointly under the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA) against the NCA at the Electronic Communication Tribunal (ECT).
On June 18, 2018, the ECT set aside the fines but stated that a person with an expired FM radio authorisation must lose the authorisation and re-apply if he or she so wished.
Over 20 of the stations lost their licences, including Radio XYZ and Radio Gold.
Below is the list of TV Stations to do down:
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