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THE TELENOVELLA WAR ON GHANAIAN TV IS OVERLY INTENSE

When was the last time you watched any of the TV stations on the analogue platform? I guess the number of people who will answer positive to that keep diminishing by the day because we all want quality and nothing else.

I seldom watch a channel on that platform unless the digital fails and yes the digital fails especially when clouds gather or when it rains though it`s rare when you have a digital antenna. I know there are some areas with worse situation even with the receiver.
The above should tell you Mr. TV station owner to keep improving on the quality in pictures and sound because the rest are lagging at all.

The today Ghanaian doesn’t want to struggle with TV pictures hence will tune off at the slightest provocation with pictures and sound. Remember there too much stress from his or her work place to come home to be met with another by the TV set.

Now to the order of the day which is the telenovelas on the Ghanaian TV lately. Unfortunately, it didn’t start now but a while back and as a matter of fact its effect was even greater than today. I am sure those who recollect the days of Acapulco Bay, Sunset Beach, Esmeralda, Passions etc will attest to the fact that people use to carry their TV sets to friends just to watch these series because there was a light out at his or her house.

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The wow factor which has made the craze tangible is the local language dubbing in the recent ones being shown on TV which was engineered by Adom TV and replicated by the rest of the TV channels that broadcast in the Ghanaian local languages like UTV, TV Africa, Obonu TV etc.

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I have read and heard some portion of the Ghanaian populace call for its abolishment from our TV stations like Afghanistan has done to India telenovela in their country but unfortunately for those people, Ghana is always Ghana. The private investor will always be looking out for profit and not a moral responsibility hence will be very difficult to totally ban them. It could be regulated by the state so that they are now allowed at certain times especially during the peak moments on air. Yes it won’t stop, it will reduce the eyeballs eventually.

By my books and research, there are three major TV stations leading the rest in terms of viewers and they are U TV, Adom TV and TV3. Those are Ghana’s top 3 most viewed TV stations. They intermittently lead for a period but the ones who lead most of the times are Adom TV and U TV because of a lot of factors but one main reason is the telenovela they show.

I had to take a walk in town just to confirm the competition between Adom TV’s Kumkum Bhagya and U TV’s Simply Maria and I was amazed the level of competition that existed between the two channels and it’s no joke because at a point I could feel the intensity. I could virtually touch the competition between these two programmes when I got to a place with lots of shops around.

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You come across a shop with Kumkum Bhagya, and the next shop is on Simply Maria and the same thing going on in the rest of the shops. And I mean all the shops; those run by both literates and illiterates. I got to know because I went asking questions and in certain instances, I had to buy something in order to be able to steal their attention. In certain stores, they only sell when the show is on break so if you cannot wait, you voluntarily leave and try the next available shop.

It looks like this nightmare to the local TV producers won’t be going away anytime soon because viewers are enjoying it to the brim. Fortunately or unfortunately, the TV stations are also raking in a lot of money courtesy these telenovelas. If a station like Adom TV has more than 23 sponsors for Kumkum Bhagya with competing brands finding no fault to be on at the same time, then that should give you an inkling of how this menace has eaten into the system.

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The competition is getting keener because of these two leading TV stations and the nature of the two shows I am talking about. Though Kumkum Bhagya and Simply Maria are from different setting and culture thus India and Mexico respectively, they have one thing in common in Ghana now which is the dubbing. Both series have been turned to the Ghanaian Akan language which makes it more interesting and easy to relate to from a Ghanaian perspective.

Ghanaian TV producers cannot throw in the towel but rather fight harder because until these foreign materials are given limited slots, there is really so little TV managers will do. Speaking to some TV producers, I realized some are really learning a lot from these foreign materials while others are just angry hence no longer producing.

At least for those learning and getting amazing stories and not cutting corners, I pray you get the funding you need courtesy corporate Ghana and government funding in a form of loans. It is imperative on Government to not ban the foreign TV content but make it unattractive for TV managers.

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