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Sports News of Monday, 21 January 2002

Source: .

GTV and MetroTV continue to fight .....

...over CAN broadcasting rights

The dispute between GTV and Metro TV over rights to broadcast the African Cup of Nations tournament lives, assumed a different dimension over the weekend as both stations broadcast the opening match. GTV has threatened to take legal action against their rivals, Metropolitan Television.

At the centre of the dispute is the international TV station TV Africa, which is broadcasting the tournament. Midway through the first half, GTV announced that any other station broadcasting the match live was contravening the law. The action was unprofessional and the management staff of the station could be sued. It did not mention Metro TV by name.

Metro TV had filed a suit at the Fast Track Court seeking an injunction that an agreement it signed with TV Africa was still valid and in force and its termination was wrongful in law.

Joined in the suit were Ghana Broadcasting Corporation under which GTV falls and Global Media Alliance, the local representatives of TV Africa. Metro TV was seeking a perpetual order of injunction to restrain TV Africa from going ahead to reallocate the rebroadcast of the CAN 2002 and the World Cup (Japan/Korea 2002) to GTV.

It also prayed the court for an order for the defendant to pay special and general damages of 320,000 dollars or its equivalent in cedis being money it spent in expanding its facilities to three regions in anticipation of its obligation under a "Sports Affiliate Agreement" it signed with TV Africa. It now broadcasts in five of the 10 regions in Ghana.

It said while it was frantically preparing to rebroadcast the live sports tournaments, TV Africa on October 19, 2001 wrote a letter terminating the affiliate agreement by December 31, 2001.

In addition, it was seeking an order that TV Africa paid 70,000 dollars being losses that would be incurred as a result of a fall in ratings due to most viewers switching their television sets to GTV during the two tournaments.

Metro TV was also seeking an order that it should be allowed to rebroadcast the two tournaments in accordance with the agreement between the two parties.