With effect from Friday, August 21, 2015, Ghanaians are expected to start paying the new television licensing fees.
This was announced by the National Media Commission (NMC).
The fee for domestic owners of television has been increased from GH30pesewas to GHC36 for a year. However, two or more television attracts GHC60.
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Chairman of the Commission, Ambassador Kabral Blay Amihere said dealers in television sets will pay GH¢5 per month while commercial license users will pay GH¢3 per month for one television set.
But according to movie maker, Socrate Safo, the television licensing fee is bogus in a post to GhanaGist.Com.
He describes the law that makes it compulsory for Ghanaians to pay the new television licensing fees as “unreasonable, baseless and oppressive”
According to him, the “TV license law is bogus paaaaa, the law makers are just twisting our arms to take our money to fund private businesses.”
“Who put that Bill before Parliament and what consultations were done with stakeholders or the proposed beneficiaries before sneaking it to the law making house?,” he asked.
He said that he is aware that refusing to pay the licensing fee, means he would be put before the law court.
“As it is, if I don’t pay I will be put before a court and if the judge decided to apply the regulations of the law without mercy I will be jailed. All because l refused to give money to fund someone’s private business.”
Obviously worried, he threw a punch at the ruling party saying, “NDC will soon make us pay for carbon dioxide.”
The revenue that will be accrued will be shared in percentage terms among Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC), 72, Ghana Independent Broadcasting Association (GIBA), 15, National Media Commission (NMC), 4, Media Development Fund, 4, Films Fund, 2 and Management of TV Licence Fee (GBC), 3.
“What is the deference between someone who take ur money on gun point and the person who makes a law to take ur money?” Socrate asked again.
TV license is paid to public broadcaster who runs without advertising, they get funding from the public through this special tax, but in the case of GBC, it’s a commercial station like UTV, TV3 and the rest. So why should I give them money every year to run their business. Do you give all the private stations money? If they are not making money then they should check their management. Not put the burden on the poor farmer in Abetifi or the fisherman at Bukom.
Every media house have a social responsibility and is mandated to do public announcements in case of national crisis, like epidemic, natural disasters, war, etc, so that cannot be used as an excuse to twist our arms for that money, film fund is a ploy to justify it, the Bill is not even passed so where is the money going. Film Fund has its own sources not TV licence. It’s just a means to take money from us.
The issue of television licencing is a British thing introduced in the 1920s to help the BBC fund its programmes. Consequently, the BBC is not allowed to raise adverts on its domestic broadcasting stations. A little leeway is allowed for adverts to be played on international channels.
The BBC in 2012 realized a total income of GBP 3.9billion with GPB 3.6billion of that coming from television licence fee collection and the remaining GBP 0.3billion coming from commercial activities.
Conclusion: The BBC lives on television licence and would die without it.
Flip the coin, here we are in Ghana and we decide to let the GBC collect TV licence and also play in the commercial business. The contribution of TV licence to GBC’s total revenue is circa 1%, commercial activities (advertising, sponsorships, etc.) brings in 60% and government funding contributes the remaining 39%.
Conclusion: With TV licence contributing only 1% of the income of GBC it surely can survive without it. (Simplistic? Maybe, maybe not.). NB: This is based on the current rates likely to go up when the new rates apply.
This is not even as unnerving as the organisations ganging up to benefit from the new television licence collection regime to be introduced from August.
According to the news, this is how the money raised from TV licence fee will be divided: GBC 72%, Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA) 15%, NMC 4%, Media Development Fund 4%, the Film Fund 2% and management of the TV license fee 3%.
In God’s name what is GIBA doing with our TV licence money? This is unacceptable. GIBA has no business coming around TV licence? Or was it a compromised agreement to cooperate with GBC? Can’t the state fund the NMC? What are they doing with TV licence money? What is Media Development Fund and what is Film Fund?
This is just crooked. So crooked. If we want to collect TV licence in this age, we need to stop GBC from doing anything commercial and then give them all the money from the collection. And then the central GOVERNMENT should STOP the subvention of GBC. They can’t collect TV licence and also compete with private stations for adverts. And the GIBA should damn well not come anywhere close to TV licence money!