Cayman 27 not alone in owing OfReg fees

| 31/08/2019 | 51 Comments
Cayman News Service
Tammi Sulliman presents the final broadcast of Cayman 27 news

(CNS): The utilities regulator, OfReg, has revealed that while Cayman 27 was forced off air last night over unpaid fees of more than CI$100,000, it is not the only licensed broadcaster that is behind paying fees due to the regulator. Responding to CNS enquiries about the end of the local TV station, Alee Fa’amoe, executive director ICT for OfReg, said four other ICT licensees were delinquent in paying licence fees and royalties, as required under the law.

In an email, he said that those licensees had all been advised directly. “Public notices have been issued,” he stated. “As per the suspension notices sent directly to them, delinquent licensees will have their licences suspended effective 1 September 2019. The office will not make any further public statements until after it briefs Cabinet next week.”

Fa’amoe has not identified the other licensees that are facing the suspension of their rights to broadcast from Saturday.

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Cayman 27 closed out Friday evening with an emotional look back at the 27 years that the station has been providing local coverage of news, sports, politics and community events. Since the news broke that the Cayman Islands’ only independent free-to-air television news would stop broadcasting Friday, there has been genuine concern and shock in the community and a petition has been circulated to save the station.

In a short statement about the demise of the station, given the challenge of promoting local content without support from the cable TV providers, Premier Alden McLaughlin said he was concerned about it closing down. The premier, who has responsibility for the regulator, which has come in for wide public criticism since its creation, said government was seeking ways to fill the void.

But there was no indication from the country’s leader that he was looking to waive the outstanding fees or address the ongoing problem that Hurley’s TV faced bearing the burden of producing local content.


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Comments (51)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Another case of Alden & Mac having a past employee of a monopoly company leading a government department to disaster.

    • Anonymous says:

      Bunch of HYPROCRITES…. enjoying our money…

    • Old Tv building says:

      Can someone from Cayman 27 explain why they abandon their old TV building off Eastern Avenue and went to pay thousands of dollars rent at the most expensive place on the island when they already owned a building? WT..?

      • Anonymous says:

        They didn’t ‘abandon’ the building. Logic owns that building. When Logic sold Cayman 27 to Hurleys, Cayman 27 had to leave because it’s Logic’s building, not theirs. Why they went to Camana Bay? Who knows.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Imposing exorbitant government fees is not a very good way to get rates down. Somewhere I saw the license fee is 6% of revenue. That is a big tax to pay, and guess who pays it in the end.

    Get rid of this fee and all duties on food and give the people a break for a change.

  3. Anonymous says:

    The timing of this could not be worse at the peak of hurricane season. This could have waited until the end of November and they would have had six months to sort it out before the next hurricane season. See what is happening to the northern Bahamas, may God help us. Cockroach have no business in a fowl fight.

  4. Anonymous says:

    please look into the number of masons involved in ofreg. this will tell you alot.

    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t see what this has to do with masons except for the usual wannabee one rubbish. U just can’t make this $*!? up. Seems to be the Peter Principle though

  5. Anonymous says:

    Yet the “Untouchables” CUC, Cayman Water, the Telephone and Gas companies are completely ignored as they continue to rape us…You can’t make this stuff up..SMH!!

  6. Anonymous says:

    So Of Reg is going to brief Cabinet a week after it is supposed to shut down every Television company…Who is asleep at the wheel, Of Reg or Cabinet??

    Is this anyway to run an island?..Lord help us!

  7. Anonymous says:

    All of the companies that have not honored their commitments to provide island wide fiber optic internet service should have their licences suspended immediately. Selective enforcement should not be tolerated.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well if Of Reg shuts them all down, we will no longer have any TV …They are f-ing ridiculous..Who are the going to bully after this CUC, Cayman Water, Gas companies…no the ones that really matter that are ripping us of they don’t do a damned thing..

  8. Easy fix: deliver 5,292 signed petitions to Elections Office says:

    Please sign the online petition now to get Cayman 27 back on the air.

    Thanks for your help!

    https://www.change.org/p/premier-alden-mclaughlin-urgent-cig-immediately-waive-as-a-concession-to-cayman-27-any-regulatory-fees

  9. Anonymous says:

    Just wait till companies start itemizing the “OfReg fees” on bills they send out.

    • Anonymous says:

      someone has to pay for all those fancy cars and trucks OfReg bought! OfReg needs to increase the cost of business so they can save money for consumer! LOL

      • Anonymous says:

        12:14, you forgot to mention the extraordinary salaries of the staff (apart from the poor clerical people), the Chairman of the Board and the Board Directors.

        • Anonymous says:

          CNS do have info on how much the Chairman and each board member is paid per month/board meeting? Many of us serve on boards gratis.

          CNS: That is actually one of my projects that I never quite have time to get to. There are a great many public boards and it’s a pretty big project. The Auditor General published this report – Key Management and Board Remunerations in SAGCs during 2016-17 – which is in the CNS Library here.

          • Anonymous says:

            Let me help you CNS (and 3:57am) from your own data from the Auditor General’s report.

            The Chairman of OfReg (at present Linford Pierson) gets paid $4500 per month. The Deputy Chair gets $2500 per month. Other directors get $2000 per month. I have never met anyone, even senior government people, who can explain this.

            The three guys who seem to be the rotating senior managers..Gregg Anderson, the ex Petroleum guy (cant remember his name..Duke Munroe?) and Famoe get $100,000 a year.

            • Anonymous says:

              The fees paid to the Board members are a disgrace and should be stopped immediately and adjusted to normal amounts paid elsewhere to our other boards and commissions. The senior managers’ salaries also seem rather generous but we have a history in Cayman of overpaying the senior staff in statutory bodies.

  10. Anonymous says:

    So it’s clear that certain entities (and not just Cayman27) can’t pay their fees, so why is there no proper investigation into these cases instead of pandering around the problem with “gap fillers”? election can’t come too soon bobo!

  11. Anonymous says:

    So does CIG or Ofreg continue to try and collect the $100K owed them or do we just give Hurley’s a pass ala Michael Ryan?

  12. Anonymous says:

    I woke up this morning and C3 seems to have been suspended as all I am seeing is a big old C3 on my TV screen. I hope that is not the case as I pay my bills on time and I would be very upset if this is the case.

    CNS: I contacted Randy Merren, who said that C3 television is still up and running. The sign you describe is usually seen when you are behind with your bill. He said that if you have any issues to call the customer service number: 333-3325.

  13. No state citizen says:

    All the people who are trying to blame OfReg, make up your mind. One time people are calling us corrupt because we don’t enforce laws and when OfReg is doing their job and enforcing the law, people want to blame them because they are losing their local channel?

    OfReg didn’t make Hurley’s media not pay their fees.
    The people who are so unhappy can start a Go Fund Me, we have 60k persons here, if 30k of those are working adults and donate $5 each, outstanding fees will be paid but that will not address the issue of why they were behind in fees in the first place.

    • Anonymous says:

      You miss the point. OfReg failed to enforce the law as to local content, leaving Cayman 27 alone and in an impossible predicament vis a vis its competitors. It was not a level playing field.

    • Anonymous says:

      Really? then why were they not collecting from the other 4 as well..How long were they outstanding…What about the gas companies, CUC, Cayman Water etc that keep ripping us off…That is where their focus should be..not having a TV station doesn’t pay my bills but doing something about CUC or the gas companies will help me survive in the most expensive country in the world..

  14. Anonymous says:

    Well, this sounds like all of the stations will be shut down on Sunday! So tell me what is Of Reg going to regulate if they shut down every television?

    We really need to get rid of this Of Reg foolishness. They do nothing for us except spend excessive amounts of our hard earned money for now reason. Can you imagine they spent money for a media campaign to ask the people what color should be on the pump for each type of gas? What a waste of time and money?

    Cayman Water has been charging people extreme amounts for water and nothing happens to them…Do they even have a license to operate? This is something they should be looking into…

    What about the gas companies that charge us exorbitant rates for gas shipped out of Florida where it retails not wholesales for just over US$2 and here it is selling for US$6 a gallon?

    The TV stations weren’t causing us any problems but you choose to focus on them rather than doing something that could help the people.

  15. Anonymous says:

    shame on the government….Alden just sits there with a smirk on his face…Mr. Marco and Panton would not have made this happen….

    • Anonymous says:

      Government could have paid the fees. Look how much they subsidies Cayman Airways and the Turtle Farm. This is the only way older Caymanians get their news and stay informed. Shame on you Government. I think they are trying to silence unbiased news. No longer freedom of speech on this Island. Sad scary times. Wake up Cayman.

      • Anonymous says:

        Nope. Can’t afford it. Because they spent $130K on promo and propaganda for the port project…

        • Anonymous says:

          That’s right. Sad times when OUR money is used for ads to promote the port but not on keeping our elderly Cayman people informed.

    • Anonymous says:

      You want to bet?

  16. Anonymous says:

    This is a company that makes money off advertising. Why should they not have to pay fees like everyone else?

    • Anonymous says:

      You just don’t get it..If you don’t understand the situation don’t put your mouth in gear..your synopsis is that of a simpleton and not of someone that read and understand what’s going on…

  17. Anonymous says:

    OfReg is costing the consumers more than it is saving.

    • Anonymous says:

      Aren’t these the same OfReg folks who are over-spending a fortune jet setting all over the world to every event they could uncover?

  18. Anonymous says:

    Cayman Water has been operating without a license for years but you cant close them down.

    • Anonymous says:

      They also extort corporate consumers into posting massive non-interest-bearing security deposits. Fine them!

  19. Anonymous says:

    The governor should intervene. Independent television news is important to society, the community, and democracy. Cayman 27 should receive a subsidy funded by other licensees and government to keep it on air. The alternative of a government propaganda channel is worse than no TV.

    • The Truth about C27 says:

      Except

      1 Cayman 27 did little more than read press releases, its unfortunate that people lost their jobs but It isn’t much of a loss in terms of the overall media on the islands

      2 The government has no interest in independent news media ( have you ever watched one of their hellish CIGTV daily updates?) The only thing they are interested in is propaganda, it was only 6 years ago that the PPM was running bragging about how they were a government who hosted weekly press briefings and now you’d be lucky to catch one of the ministers dead in a room where that isn’t packed with civil servants who are actually doing all the talking.

      3 Cayman 27 should have transitioned to an mainly online source of news years ago, they ignored social media other than facebook, and never utilized Youtube and expected people to go to their antiquated website

      Sorry to say but they brought it upon themselves, they never seemed interested in working to keep people’s attention, being the only local station made them either cocky or lazy maybe both

  20. Anonymous says:

    shut down ofreg. complete waste of money.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ofreg serves an important purpose in its fight against rogue operators. My advice is just to pay the fees and keep it moving. The law is the law and whining or caterwauling doesn’t change that.

      • Anonymous says:

        I agree the law is the law. It requires more than the paying of fees. It requires local content. Cayman 27 was the only one complying. Their competition did not. Government did not enforce the law. That put Cayman 27 at an impossible disadvantage.

      • Anonymous says:

        where are the rich Caymanians now, or should we call on the expats?

      • Anonymous says:

        They have not done one thing to the Gas Operators or to the Water Company..They have told 5 television companies that they will shut them down come Sunday if they don’t pay up..how does this help people in Cayman? It doesn’t reduce my gas, electric or water bill…that is where their attention should be focused..

      • Anonymous says:

        Theoretically.

    • EffectiveRegulatorMust says:

      Oh Yeah shut down OfReg!!! Then what will you do about FLOW, Digicel, Logic, C3 rediculous ICT prices and Conduct?

      Don’t forget the ridiculous fuel peddlers.

      The problem here is NOT Ofreg. Notwithstanding they need to do more to protect the consumers. They need an easier reporting mechanism so Consumers can report more issues for them to deal with effectively.

      • Anonymous says:

        So do tell what has the ofreg branch of the lodge done about electricity. They approved a price increase. What have they done about gas. Nothing. Water nothing.
        Internet phone etc nothing.
        Complete waste.

      • Anonymous says:

        Has Of Reg ever done anything about these except to allow them to increase their prices and now trying to force them to have their pumps all the same color..I say get rid of them..useless bunch!

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