GNBA held successful Outreach Session With RBS Channel 13
Continuous efforts are being made by the management of the Guyana National Broadcasting Authority (GNBA), to engage Broadcast Operators. Management officials of the GNBA met with Mr. Jacob Rambarran, owner of RBS Channel 13, on Wednesday last (Feb 15, 2017), at his broadcast station located in Republic Park, Georgetown.
This session was led by GNBA’s Chief Executive Officer; Dr. Prudence Lewis- Bhola, who outlined the purpose for GNBA’s visit and noted the state of the broadcast industry, with great confidence that the Board will be poised to regularize the sector when it reconvenes. To this end, the CEO gave Mr. Rambarran an opportunity to speak to matters relative to his station and challenges he may be facing as a broadcaster.
The major challenge expressed by Mr. Rambarran was the matter of the exorbitant broadcast licence fees. Mr. Rambarran lamented that at the Board’s last meeting with broadcasters, they promised a reduction in fees, but the GNBA continues to request 2.5 Million Dollars.
Dr. Lewis- Bhola took that opportunity to bring clarity to the matter. She explained that the current Broadcasting Act of 2011 stands. Therefore, she posited, until the new regulations come to the rescue, and those regulations are gazetted, the current law applies. She further noted that other broadcasters are honoring their obligations under the existing Act; she also stated that the GNBA is obligated under the Broadcasting Act to call for fees in accordance with the amount stipulated ($2.5 M or 3.5 % of the previous year’s revenue, whichever is greater).
The CEO explained to Mr. Rambarran that a new Board will soon manage the affairs of the Broadcasting Authority; therefore these outreaches form part of a strategic plan to update the files of broadcasters, to duly sensitize the Board of the concerns of broadcasters and the state of the industry. Consequently, it was strongly advocated that RBS CH 13 brings itself in compliance with the Broadcasting Act of 2011, since the Board will be presented with the necessary intelligence, when making critical decisions that will impact both individual broadcasters and the broadcast sector as a whole.
The CEO remains passionate about these outreach sessions and intends to continue to reach out to broadcasters, since it is critical to understand the needs of the industry first, before decisions are made to bring transformation and development.