Ghana’s newest television station, United Television (UTV), a free-to-air private television station with a nationwide coverage, is buying two helicopters for its news crew, News-One has gathered.
This would be the first time a media house in Ghana is acquiring a helicopter as part of transportation for its news crew as pertains in other countries. “They would be used exclusively for breaking news reports like fire or flooding, crime scenes like security personnel chasing robbers, and live reports on the traffic situation in town where viewers would see for themselves which part of town is having a traffic jam and the alternative routes to take,” a management source told News-One.
UTV, from the stables of the Despite Group of Companies, proud operators of Peace FM, Okay FM, and Hello FM, would have one of the helicopters stationed in Accra and be responsible for covering news in the Western, Central, Greater Accra, Volta and Eastern regions; while the other one would be stationed in Kumasi and would be responsible for the Ashanti, Brong-Ahafo, Northern, Upper West and Upper East regions.
So far, no television station in Ghana has a helicopter. Sky TV in London for instance has a set of helicopters nicknamed ‘Skycopters’.
In the USA, news channels, such as CNN, Fox, CBS, ABC, NBC, all have helicopters and ‘copter broadcast’ is common. UTV is housed in the Ship House building at Abeka Junction on the main Circle-Achimota road and reports said the building was originally designed in a way that it could be fitted with a helicopter padding.
The station and aviation officials are said to be in talks over safety and aviation regulations.
UTV is currently on test transmission in the Greater Accra, Ashanti, Central and Eastern regions while transmission equipment are being fixed in the rest of the regions to give it a national coverage.
The station brings some sense of hope and air of freshness to television viewers because it is entering the television industry at a time complaints are on the increase that local television stations have become boring and relatively not interesting as compared to other countries.