The Office of the Regulator has yet to approve the Broadcasting Licensee for the sale of Apia Broadcasting Limited which runs TV3.
This was confirmed by the Regulator, Lefaoali’i Unutoa Auelua-Fonoti in an email to the Samoa Observer.
Last week, the Apia Broadcasting Limited announced that Maposua Corey Keil and Nicholas Caffarelli have acquired the network.
The TV station was previously owned by former Cabinet Minister and businessman, Hans Joachim Keil.
But Lefaoali’i said their office has yet to receive any correspondence from TV3 regarding the matter. She said they have only found out through the media.
“And we have duly written to TV3 as a Broadcasting Licensee under the Regulator’s jurisdiction to solicit a response regarding the matter and informing them of section 37 of the Broadcasting Act 2018 (“the Act”), which provides in essence that without an approval from my office, no transfer of control may be complete or have legal effect,” she said.
“The Office of the Regulator has no intention to stymie competition and the services that are offered by TV3, but the legal requirements are necessary to ensure effective operations of competitors and the Office of the Regulator itself for the benefit of the public.
“I expect that TV3 will treat the request as a matter of urgency and provide an appropriate response so that we can identify and resolve any issues arising out of the matter,” said the Regulator.
A press release issued by TV3 confirmed the transaction.
TV3 was established 12 years ago by Mr. Keil and members of his family as the first privately owned TV station in Samoa.
“Our goal was to have a wide selection for our viewers especially family programmes and movies that cater to families, especially children,” said Mr. Keil.
Some of the favourite local shows produced by TV3 since it was established include Samoan Idol and Young Stars Singing Competitions, National Spelling Bee Competitions for junior and senior levels, 8 Days of Christmas, which was later revamped to Island Christmas to name a few.
Another highlight event that is broadcasted on TV3 is the Joseph Parker Fights.
The decision to sell TV3 comes at a difficult time for Mr. Keil who since August last year has been undergoing medical treatment overseas with love and support from his wife Celine and family.
Mr. Keil acknowledges with gratitude the ongoing support of clients and sponsors over the years since TV3 started.
He also congratulates the new owners Maposua and Mr. Caffarelli and has full confidence they will continue to improve TV3’s service to the country and beyond.
Maposua adds TV3 to his list of business portfolios including Dawg Professional Audio and Radio Polynesia Ltd, which he has directed as a family business for more than 30 years.
Mr. Caffarelli is the owner of Signs Studio and a prominent businessman in the community. As partners, they bring combined strength in business expertise and investment that will no doubt ensure the longevity of TV3 as it continues to provide broadcasting services to the Samoan community.
The new proprietors have announced that they will strive to continue to deliver the values and vision that Mr. Keil had when he started the TV station more than 12 years ago, with the promise of adding new programmes and content over time.
TV3 continues to film and broadcast community events in collaboration with the Government and private sector to inform, educate and entertain our local viewers.
Its coverage around Samoa has grown from strength to strength over the years where today; TV3 prides itself in saying that it covers all four corners of Samoa.
It’s local content such as Nightly News, Tala I Vaifanua, Manuo Show for Public Notices and more is also viewed by neighbouring American Samoa.
Emails to the TV3 have not been answered as of press time.