Cameroon Tribune (Yaoundé)

12 February 2013

Cameroon: Eight Illegal TV Channels Warned!

The President of the National Communication Council says they should respect the regulation.

Nowadays, it is common to watch several Cameroonian television channels in the country broadcasting nationwide. However, some are operating illegally. The President of the National Communication Council (NCC), Mgr Joseph Befe Ateba in a recent communique warned eight clandestine TV channels which are broadcasting their programmes within the national territory, mostly in Yaounde and Douala. In the communique, the President of Council reminds the public that the creation and running of private audio-visual communication enterprises in the country are subjected to a well-established regulation.

Consequently, Trompette tv, Christ television, Divine tv, Canal vie, El Shadai, Gloire à Dieu tv, Gospel tv and Kanodi tv have been warned against operating clandestinely within the national territory. Mgr Joseph Befe Ateba also gave the same warning to all Cable TV distributors and other promoters of make-shift audio-visual studios, who put their technical means at the disposal of these clandestine TV stations. According to the communiqué, the warnings also demand an immediate halt to all these illegal activities, failing which; the National Communication Council will apply heavy sanctions in conformity with provisions of Decree No 2012/038 of 23 January 2012 governing its reorganisation.

Some of the owners of the TV stations that have been warned expressed ignorance over the law governing the creation and running of private audio-visual communication enterprises in the country. A source from El Shadai tv said he was not aware of the laws or steps to follow to operate a TV station in the country. With a vision to run a TV channel, the El Shadai crew said they began by recording various biblical messages in a DVD tape which they gave to a nearby cable distributor for broadcast. The El Shadai source said he was even surprised when he noticed they had been warned against clandestine functioning since he imagined they had not reached the level to be considered a TV channel. For now, the El Shadai crew says they will respect authority and halt broadcasting while seeking the right means to operate in conformity with the law.

The founder of Kanodi tv, Rev Dr Dieunedort Kamdem said they had started compiling documents to operate but for structural problems which have been resolved. With the current warning, they will accelerate their documents to meet up with the regulations. Henri-Patrice Tacoutchout of Gospel tv said they are aware of the regulations to create and run a private audio-visual communication enterprise but lack the FCFA 100 million needed. He wishes the government could create a means through which the money could be paid in segments.

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