Multi Technology Vision Inc (MTV) Channel 65’s antenna crashed to the ground on Thursday night in what is suspected to be sabotage that has forced the station off the airwaves.
MTV released a statement yesterday notifying that Channel 14/65 would be off the air until further notice since the broadcast tower at its studio in Industrial Estate, Eccles collapsed and caused severe damage to the building and other equipment. A pair of bolt cutters was found on one of the wires.
“The circumstances surrounding this collapse are currently under investigation, however, sabotage is not ruled out. Our team is working assiduously to restore all operations,” the statement said.
It added that all programmes, including advertisements, entertainment, MTV’s News Update and death announcements would not be aired until further notice.
“We humbly ask our Advertisers, Producers and Viewers to remain steadfast, as we seek to address this issue. Advertisers and Producers are also asked to make contact with our Accounts and Marketing Departments, or visit our office from Monday, September 4, 2017, during working hours to address their accounts,” the statement added.
When Stabroek News visited the facility yesterday, the yard was littered with parts of the giant antenna. Pieces lay on the roof of the building and were scattered across the entire compound. Staff members were seen assisting with the cleanup and helping to salvage what they could.
Ranks from the Guyana Police Force were at the scene carrying out investigations.
Speaking with Stabroek News, Paul Bonar, also known as DJ Stress, who said he was doing a live TV programme at the time of the incident, recalled hearing several loud crashes before the monitors turned blue in the studio.
“We hear this ba-dang and we jump and I stopped and then more came, bang, bang, bang, bang and then we noticed the monitors went blue and when we came out we saw everything on the ground, laid across the floor,” he recalled.
General Manager Raymond Singh also related that as a result of infrastructural damage, the company faces a setback of some $7 million to $8 million, not counting the amount of money that will be lost from revenue and other repairs to the buildings.
He pointed out that the antenna also damaged a neighbour’s fence and nearby shed.
A closer inspection when the police arrived yesterday morning, Singh said, revealed that a pair of bolt cutters was found still attached to one of the wires that was anchoring the large antenna, which has fueled the belief that sabotage was behind the collapse.
He said the station is relying on the police to carry out their investigation and find the possible perpetrators.
With respect to being off the air, Singh explained that they are working assiduously to get back on air within three days but this will depend on how quickly they source spare parts to repair the infrastructure over the weekend.