Ghana: Viasat 1 TV Channel Begins Operation in Country

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A new free-to-air TV channel, VIASAT 1, which will predominantly broadcast entertainment programmes has began operation in Ghana. Viasat Broadcasting G Ltd, is part of an international Entertainment Broadcasting Group, known as Modern Times Group (MTG AB) which is the largest free -TV and satellite premium Pay-TV operator in Scandinavia and the Baltics.

The launch in Ghana is MTG's first ever TV channel in Africa. It also operates free TV channels in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovenia and the Balkans and a DTH platform in the Ukraine as well as pay-TV channels in a total of 24 European Countries. VIASAT 1 says its mission is to become the leading entertainment television channel in Ghana dedicated to bringing the best African and world content to viewers.

Rune Skogeng Chief Executive Officer of the company said, "We have successfully exported our proven business model to numerous countries throughout Europe and we are starting that same fantastic journey on the African continent."

He explained that as part of a bigger media group, Viasat has a strong and long-standing relations with all the major Hollywood studios, that enables it to bring the very best blockbuster content to Ghana. He said it has also entered into agreements with some of the biggest African content owners and secured what it deems is the best African movies, series and current affairs programmes.

"Viasat is your number one entertainer. We will deliver on this promise. Our research clearly indicates that more and better TV information is something the Ghanaian population wants." Skogeng said his company is a gender neutral TV channel primarily targeted at all audience, especially those between the ages of 15 and 49 years. He added that they will attract this audience by being modern, fresh, positive and passionate.

Currently, Viasat has set up transmitter sites in the Greater Accra, Ashanti, Central and Western regions. The Accra site will be significantly vamped up in terms of power over the coming weeks in order increase picture and sound quality and coverage. Viasat hopes to set up a transmitter site in the northern region early next year to cover that part of Ghana as well.

Public Agenda (Accra) 22 December 2008