Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The Fault in our Television

Malawian Television is headed for a crash. My hypothesis.

If you scanned through the now available Malawi TV stations, you would be impressed. They are all either playing Jamaican reggae and dancehall videos or Nigerian music or Malawian urban music. Impressive, I said.

None is offering news analyses that beat the hour mark, the documentaries that get run are either sketchy or unworthy beaming.

Why is this a problem?

Well, unless you are a state-run station, you need advertisement to stay alive. And the way TV station in Malawi are conducting themselves, they will not stay alive much longer.

Still asking the why question? Here is what happens and what will happen.

If you, as a TV station, beam content that appeals to youths, like urban music, the station will attract a youthful demographic. In such a scenario, the advertisers that will flock to the station will be those targeting youths.

The problem?

In Malawi most of the money is in the hands of adults, not youths, as such the products on the market are usually bought by adults and the advertisers are adults too. In the end you will only see condoms, Red Bull and Coca-Cola type of adverts on your TV, and that will be about it.

It would be wise, for a TV station,  to develop mature content, content that would attract old guards who in the end are the people with money and likely to place adverts or be targets of the said adverts.

Otherwise keep playing cheap hip hop until the station closes. But it would be sad, it took us almost a hundred years since TV was discovered to have our own TV here in Malawi, it would be sad to see it all go away again.