Broadcasting live football matches in The Gambia have become a rarity nowadays. At a time when sports have become an important form of entertainment, many Gambians especially those in the provinces and the diaspora would welcome the opportunity to watch this thrilling encounter at the luxury of their living rooms.
A nation that knows how to use the state TV as a propaganda machine ought to be able to spread nationalism through sports. whether stadium attendance will fall by broadcasting this match live is subordinate to the greater benefits of having women, children and the elderly in far more remote areas in the country as well as those in the diaspora whose sweat helped to buy those TVs in the provinces to join in and follow the match live. This way even the players will cherish the thought of being watched by more and diverse people all over the world.
If the state broadcaster can dedicate huge resources of GRTS to cover the live event of a Senegalese wrestler’s visit to the Gambia as a guest of Yaya Jammeh, there is no reason why broadcasting live international matches can not be made a regularity just like our neighboring countries are doing to develop an interest in sports as entertainment.
To say that many people have lost interest in viewing monotonous propaganda programs from GRTS is an understatement. Gambia is the only country in the region that has only one TV station. Senegal has 13 stations including one for Senegalese in the diaspora. Mali, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone they all have more multitude of private TV stations giving their citizenry a wider array of entertainment choices .
How can Gambia become the pearl of West Africa when we are still struggling to watch a TV station that is bereft of good entertainment yet awash with relentless propaganda? Broadcasting live football matches will not affect stadium attendance or gate revenue it would only deprive Gambians the benefits of joining those in the capital and its environs to view the match live. We hope the politicized GFF is listening. Pay GRTS some of the revenue to be generated to make live broadcast of this match for the benefit of all Gambians.
God Bless the Gambia!
BY AN INSIDER BANJUL