Two of the three television stations that will pay an increased tariff of $23,000 continues to question the rationale behind the move by the Regulator to approve the new fee for only three TV companies in the Country.
The new tariff of $23,000 from $18,000 only applies to TV1, TV3 and EFKS and this is to be paid to Samoa Digital Company Ltd owned by Fa’amausili Andrew Ah Liki.
The new fee will go into effect this month.
The Managers for TV3 and TV1 have expressed disappointed as to why the Regulator approved the new fees without consultation with the companies, rather there was a meeting informing them about the new fees.
According to a presentation papers conducted by Regulator Gisa Fuata’i Purcell, the decision follows a review of the audited accounts of the three TV stations, of total assets of more than $4.7 million which is also 92 percent of the total assets values of seven broadcasters.
TV3 Manager Aotearoa Pesamino Mayer said the move is "unrealistic".
In an interview with Radio Polynesia, Ms Mayer had this to say about the new fees.
TV1 Manager, Galuemalemana Faiesea Matafeo says the move is discriminatory in earlier interview with Radio Polynesia.
She said TV1 are getting the same service from SDCL as all other commercial broadcasters are, yet they are asked to pay more for the same kind of service.
"There is absolutely no justification for the increase in tariff for a selected number of broadcasters other than the fact that we seem to be operating better than the other commercial broadcasters, which is ridiculous," said Galuemalemana.
Follow up questions sent to the Regulator, Gisa as well as the Minister of Communication Informational Technology, Toelupe Pou Onesemo were not answered.
Radio Polynesia also reached out to the owner of the SDCL Fa’amausili Andrew but efforts were unsuccessful.
In 2018 Cabinet approved Samoa Digital Company Ltd to oversee the switchover from analog to digital broadcasting systems in Samoa, and their initial monthly tariff set in 2019 was $35,759 monthly tariff, however under the previous Administration it was reduced down to $18,000 per month.