Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea | ANN Staff

Television viewers in Papua New Guinea soon will be offered more viewing choices in television broadcasting in their country. Pangtel, the Papua New Guinea Communications Authority, granted a non-commercial television broadcast license to Three Angels Broadcasting Network (3ABN), an independent Adventist broadcaster from Thompsonville, Illinois, USA.

The licence was presented on December 4 to Danny Shelton, 3ABN president, in Port Moresby, the capital of PNG. Shelton said that in the granting of this license, 3ABN would be “giving to the people of Papua New Guinea and not taking. The population would soon have a real choice,” an alternative to the local television programming as offered by EM-TV. “Our line-up will bring hope and inspirational programs,” Shelton said.

In the setting of Papua New Guinea, the local population has applauded the news as an “answer to prayer,” according to John Banks, who represented the international Seventh-day Adventist Church at the signing ceremonies. “Viewers will now have a choice of what to watch. The new station will be popular in this predominantly Christian country,” he reported. Papua New Guinea has a population of almost 4 million with 850 dialects.

The broadcasting license is being supported by the PNG Adventist Church. Leaders of 3ABN expressed an interest in working closely with the PNG church and the South Pacific region’s church leaders on a variety of broadcasting issues. They will offer a programming menu featuring what Seventh-day Adventists consider essential in Christian message, family values and lifestyle.

Moses Primo, 3ABN’s director of Broadcasting and Engineering, stated that the rollout plan would see the station operating “within six months.” The PNG broadcasts will become a part of the network’s global satellite coverage. The local media, which covered the ceremony, reported that initially the station will broadcast from the United States until a production center is established in Papua New Guinea.

According to local media sources, at least two other media groups were competing for the license, one of whom was Trinity Broadcasting Network, also of the USA.  The application for the license was lodged by 3ABN just one week before other contenders. Jim Waim of Pangtel said that “3ABN had met the requirements of funding, the technical conditions, and programming.”

The ceremonies attracted Sir Silas Atopare, Governor General, members of the Papua New Guinea Parliament, Justices of the Courts and representatives of the local Adventist Church.