Leaders get free 
television time

A number of television appearances by Premier McKeeva Bush and former Opposition Leader Kurt Tibbetts since the beginning of last year have been aired for free via local station Cayman 27, station officials said last week.

According to station spokesperson Vanessa Hansen, the company policy is to allow those appearances to be broadcast the first time without payment if they concern issues of national importance.

If the premier or opposition leader wishes them to be rebroadcast a second or third time, they have to pay.

The free airtime is provided only to the premier and opposition leader. All other representatives, or former political figures, would have to pay to have those statements aired, Mrs. Hansen said.

Generally, political statements or ads must be paid for, although there are certain government or political public events that will be broadcast free depending on what the station decides. “Some of that is valuable programming,” she said.

Cayman’s Information and Communications Technology Law does not require the TV station to provide free airtime to party leaders, according to Information and Communications Technology Authority Director David Archbold.