Mr. Rune Skogeng, Chief Executive Officer of Viasat 1, the newest free on air television station in Ghana, on Friday announced that the station would start airing local productions later this year.
He told journalists in Accra that Viasat 1 had closed a number of deals with some Ghanaian producers, whose productions met the premium quality standards of the station, adding that the programmes to start airing would include locally produced drama and movies.
Mr. Skogeng stopped short of naming the producers and the titles of the productions, saying it was too early in view of the competition. He noted that the station was cautious not to contaminate its premium quality with poorly made local productions, saying most of the local productions they reviewed failed the Viasat 1 quality standards test.
Mr. Skogeng therefore urged local television content and movie producers to pay attention to quality in terms of story line, shots and pictures.
He said added to the acquired local productions, Viasat 1 was also working on doing its own in-house local productions including talk shows, children’s programmes and also acquire football rights, since a lot of Ghanaians had been identified to be lovers of football. Mr Skogeng also said results of separate audience surveys conducted in-house and by a third party in May, indicated that in five months, Viasat 1 had risen to the second most watched television station in the country.
“Out of 2,000 people sampled by the Research and Marketing Services on the issue of most watched television station in Ghana, we came second with 20.8 per cent, behind TV3 with 21 per cent,” he said. The research results also showed that Metro TV was third with 19.4 per cent, followed by GTV 11.7 per cent, Net2 TV, 10 per cent, TV Africa, 9.7 per cent and Crystal TV, 7.3 per cent. Mr Skogeng noted that the research also showed that out of a little over three million households that had television in Ghana, 2.3 million, representing 74.9 per cent, watched Viasat 1 on daily basis, adding that the most popular programmes on television were Viasat 1’s US series (79 per cent), Blockbuster movies (59 per cent) and the South African series (54 per cent).
“We like to base our projection and claims on research and from the research results so far, I can confidently say that we are on the right track – this is impressive because in our other operations it took us at least six years to achieve what we have achieved in five months in Ghana,” he said.
He noted that in spite of the impressive achievements, there still remained a huge group of audience yet to be reached, saying that available statistics showed that 74 per cent of Ghana’s population were below 34 years and yet it seemed that important group had been neglected. “Our target is that age group (below 34 years), which is also the target group of our advertisers,” Mr Skogeng said.