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16.03.2007 General News

Worries Over TV Text Bar

One of the greatest things to have happened to my generation is the increase in knowledge and with it the boom in technological advancement.

We are fortunate to have access to many things that people who live just 20 years ago did not have.

One of such technologies is the mobile phone and what it is capable of doing. Mobile phone has been useful to broadcasting and broadcasters such that John Hammond and Richard Kotey would not know.

Apart from using it to call into radio and television programmes from anywhere as well as sending text messages into such programmes, it can also be used to advertise and to say hello to people, amongst others.

One of the most innovative technologies that combine with the mobile phone to make broadcasting interesting is the rolling of messages across the screen as transmission goes on.

Known as the text or message bar it helps stations to send out messages without breaking the transmission as used to be the case in the past.

It seems to me however, that the use of this piece of technology is becoming a bit more than just useful usage due to abuse by our television stations.

None of the stations in Accra would be exempted from this kind of practice.

What do I mean? You are watching a football match and there is a message whether it be a yellow or red card to a player or an information on a player or the match itself.

You are prevented from seeing this information because TV3 is telling you that the match was sponsored by Tigo or Metro TV is telling you that you can win a ticket to watch an Under 17 match in Togo or some such irrelevant information.

Other times you are watching a music programme say on MTV Base and you are bent on knowing the name of the artistes performing and the title of his or her song, but TV3 would bar you from doing so because they have placed a damn hello message on the screen with the sole intent of blocking your view.

These are but a few of the many things that the stations use the text bar to deprive viewers from enjoying their programmes.

In most situations it can be very frustrating to the viewer and I think it would do a lot of good if they know when to cut the text message and when to continue with it.

One's aware of the pressure on TV stations to get money from telephony companies by sharing proceeds from text messaging with them but one would still insist that quality should be placed ahead of monetary concerns.

I mean do they watch the stations from which they copied…sorry, I mean learnt these things? I wonder if they do such things.

As one is at it there is the need to mention another thing that gets to me from the television stations. I wonder why they are so egocentric when it comes to their logo.

They don't care if you do not see the face of a football player or a panelist of even newsreader so long as you see their logo.

I keep asking what is in their logo and as well as those of the their sponsors that they careless if you see the logo and not the faces of people on the screen. This irks me like nothing does.