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Wednesday,August 12,2020 05:38 AM

UCC distances self from NTV closure

By Vision Reporter

Added 4th March 2007 03:00 AM

THE Uganda Communications Commission was not informed about the signal-testing of Nation TV (NTV) nor its closure, MPs heard on Friday.

THE Uganda Communications Commission was not informed about the signal-testing of Nation TV (NTV) nor its closure, MPs heard on Friday.

By John Odyek

THE Uganda Communications Commission was not informed about the signal-testing of Nation TV (NTV) nor its closure, MPs heard on Friday.

The executive director of the commission, Patrick Masambu, told a parliamentary probe committee into the closure of NTV that although they licensed the station to operate, it was the duty of the firm to inform them about the testing of the signals and the eventual broadcasting.

Masambu added that they were not aware that NTV was turned off air by the Uganda Broadcasting Council.

He said they issue frequency spectrum licenses for TV and radio stations.

This is done after the council also licenses a station basing on the market access, geographical coverage, content and quality of broadcasts, he explained.

NTV was switched off from the Uganda Broadcasting Corporation (UBC) mast at Kololo in January by the council on grounds that its equipment did not conform to the required standards.

This followed a report by Sentech, a South African company, which established that the mast was overloaded.

NTV was renting the mast from UBC.

But Chris Katuramu, the chairman of the board of UBC, said the corporation was not aware of the report produced by Sentech.

He said the report was produced in 2005 and condemned the 150metre mast because it was titling and over-burdened.

“UBC came to know of the report much later when NTV was put off.”
According to Musinguzi Mugasa, the managing director of UBC, they had planned to repair the mast without switching off the 10 radio and TV stations located on it.

He said the stations had been operating on the mast for over 10 years before NTV joined it.

Mugasa proposed that if NTV buys a combiner and a bigger antenna, they could be transferred to another mast which is 200 metres high on Kololo Hill.

“A combiner is an equipment that can combine several antennas into a single one. It reduces the weight of several antennas and it costs $270,000,” Mugasa said.

He pointed out that NTV was not a threat to UBC as a competitor, therefore, the issue of switching off the station on grounds of competition could not arise.

Mugasa noted that it is the broadcasting council, which has the power to put back NTV on air.

UCC distances self from NTV closure

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