Papua New Guineans will receive a special gift when the country celebrates its independence anniversary on September 16.
They will be able to switch on to a new free to air television service with more local content and programmes—thanks to government.
NTS (National Television Service) will telecast live giving a choice to Papua New Guineans to watch a new TV service, hence provide competition to PNG’s only commercial TV station, EMTV.
EMTV is owned by Fiji-based Yasana Holdings, also owners of Fiji TV.
NTS will be operated and managed by PNG’s National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) of which PINA (Pacific Islands News Association) president, Joseph Ealedona, is managing director.
Since independence in 1975, successive PNG governments have recognised the need to have a national television service in PNG.
In 1981, PNG NEC (National Executive Council) approved in principle the introduction of a television service of which NBC was to undertake a feasibility study on the technical, engineering, financial, management and programming aspects of the project. The process was not concluded due to the 1982 national elections.
The 1981 NEC decision was resurrected in 1989 and NBC was directed to initiate the processes to realise the service.
Prime Minister Somare in March 2007 directed NBC again to initiate the processes on NTS.
On September last year during the opening of PNG’s 8th parliament, Somare reiterated his call for the introduction of the TV service for PNG. A taskforce was established and progress so far has been successful, according to Ealedona.
The first phase will make it possible for