By Sana Elouazi
Rabat – As a financial crisis continues to severely hit the Moroccan TV channel 2M, the state-owned media company is taking austere measures to pull up its fallen turnover rate by ceasing the broadcast of two of its flagship programs.
Considered too expensive, the second national channel decided to revoke the 10-year-old program “Massar,” presented by Atik Benchiguer, in which he traces the paths of and pays tribute to prominent figures in different fields, reported the daily Assabah on December 18.
The daily reported that 2M is no longer able to pay the MAD 60,000 given to each guest of Benchiguer’s show.
The program “Nghanniwha Maghribia” (“Let’s Sing it Moroccan”) was also the target of this purge, given that all the singers and musicians invited were paid at least MAD 10,000 per person, which have helped sink the channel’s bank account into a dreadful financial crisis over the past few months.
The new policy of the second channel will be to produce programs with the lowest possible costs. Priority will be given to less expensive programs, such as “Kif Kounti ou Kif Oulliti” (“How You Were and How You Became”) by Hicham Mesrar.
The newspaper reported that this entertainment show was spared cancellation since the guests come for free.
Same goes for “Rachid Show,” presented by Rachid Allali, who has a myriad of sponsors, even though he was called by the channel to invite only national or international celebrities passing through Rabat or Casablanca, where the company’s headquarter is located, to avoid paying for their transportation.
According to a report released by the Court of Auditors in 2015, the company SOREDAD which has been in charge of running the TV channel since 1989, has been in a deficit since 2008, because its turnover can not cover the total of its expenses.
Following the report, the employees have lambasted the line ministry, the general management, and the board of directors for the channel’s current financial crisis, and called for a new relevant economic model in line with the conclusions of the Court of Auditors.
The daily also added that negotiations are underway with Emirati investors to pull the channel out of its crisis.
This is not the first time when the company has faced a financial crisis. In fact, after seven years of activity, the National Society of Investment (ONA), the major shareholder, withdrew from the management of the TV channel due to financial reasons. The Moroccan state took over the control of 2M, holding 68 percent of its capital.