The audiovisual content broadcasting operators in the UEMOA region are struggling to collect rights of way from television and radio stations.
The observation is the same everywhere. The channels publishing audiovisual content in the eight countries of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) hardly pay the broadcasting fees for their productions.
Thus, the broadcasting companies, which depend on these funds, find themselves in difficulties. And even the ‘Societe Malienne de Transmission et de Diffusion’ (SMTD), cited as a model, is no exception.
“Collection is our main problem. We are not able to recover our resources, even though we are responsible for broadcasting television and radio stations. We are going through very difficult times,” the Director General of the SMTD, Dr. Cheikh Oumar Traore warned.
He was speaking on Thursday at the opening of the 2nd General Assembly of the African Network of Broadcasters (ANB) which is held from 5 to 6 May in the Senegalese capital, Dakar. This meeting is placed under the theme “Challenges and issues of broadcasting operators at the time of switching to DTT (Digital Terrestrial Television).”
Agreeing with his Malian counterpart, the Director General of the ‘Societe de Telediffusion du Senegal’ (TDS-SA), Amadou Abdoulaye Diop, said that "rights of way are a central issue for the viability of broadcast operators.”
According to Fidele Tamini, Director General of the ‘Sociéte Burkinabe de Telediffusion’ (SBT) and President of RAT, there is a reflection to be made in relation to the economic model. “Today, we are facing operating problems. The subsidies are not enough to support the expenses and the publishers are still reluctant to pay what we expect from them. At some point, we have to find a solution,” Tamini said.
TV and radio publishers derive most of their revenue from advertising. However, these resources are limited because of a relatively weak economic and industrial fabric and a poorly developed advertising culture, explained the Director of the Digital Economy at the UEMOA Commission, Abosse Akue Kpapko.
That is why he advocated, among other things, the creation of on-demand services, the leasing of infrastructure, the serving of localities not covered by telephone operators while taking care not to enter the telecoms market head-on, the payment of broadcasting of government activities, the establishment of a regional bouquet and the stimulation of the production of national and regional content.
“Creation does not come from broadcasters, but if you push publishers to be original to have products that can be sold throughout the continent, they will earn a lot and you will not need to go to them to ask for your due,” Kpapko said.
Finally, the Commissioner of UEMOA advocated the signing of a partnership agreement between the African Network of Broadcasters and his organization because "this will allow collaboration in various areas for the good of our people.