The European media group Modern Times Group, which runs television station Viasat1 and TV production company MAP (Modern Africa Productions), plans to increase its investments in Ghana. So says MTG CEO Hans-Holger Albrecht, who is currently visiting Ghana. He also indicates broader plans to expand the Group’s presence in other African countries.
“Ghana is a great country and we are committed to this market for the long term. We have been pleased with the development of Viasat 1 and also want to develop our production company, MAP. The country’s economy is growing and the media industry is evolving rapidly, which is why we are here. People are watching more TV and that of course is pulling in advertising agencies and clients. “, says MTG CEO Hans-Holger Albrecht.
All in all, MTG employs around 60 people in Ghana´s fast growing media sector. The company was awarded a national terrestrial TV license by the National Communications Authority in December 2007. Viasat1 was built from the ground up and began broadcasting in December 2008. The channel broadcasts a wide range of local and international TV entertainment content.
“We did that with a lot of hard work and mostly with local talent”, says Hans-Holger Albrecht.
MTG also started the MAP production company at the end of 2010. The company, like Viasat 1, is based in capital city Accra. All Viasat1 original and local programming is produced by MAP. MAP is looking to produce programming content and commercials for other channels in the near future. MAP is also active in the field of mobile entertainment.
With a blend of local and international hit TV shows, news, current affairs, movies and sports, Viasat1 is doing very well and attracting an ever increasing audience. Viasat 1 has now grown to be the second largest commercial TV-station in the country with a target audience share of more than 20%. But even so, there are still more challenges to be met in this fast moving industry. Both in Ghana and in Africa as a whole.
“Our goal is growth – pure and simple. We will invest more as we are determined to seize the opportunities that are available here”, Hans-Holger Albrecht adds.
MTG recently hired 39 year old former NASPERS senior executive Joseph Hundah to head up the development of its African operations. “We have had a great start in Ghana and want to build on this. We also have our pay-TV channels available in four other African countries so I am very excited about the potential moving forward”, said Hundah.
While in Ghana, Hans-Holger will also participate in the MTG project MTG United for Peace, which involves young people from around the world in playing in local football tournaments and meeting other young people from around the world. Ghana has sent teams to the annual finals in Oslo for the last two years and the Ghanaian boys team has won the final each year so far – so they are up for a hat trick of finals later this year in Oslo!
“Football like business and like life is all about planning, skill, teamwork and a little bit of luck of course. I´ve played and watched football for as long as I can remember and started to follow African football when Ghana was the first African country to win an Olympic medal in football at the Barcelona games 20 years ago”, says Hans-Holger Albrecht.