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TVJ: The Voice's other Jamaican winner

By Shamille Scott Business Reporter scotts@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, December 20, 2013    

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While Tessanne Chin in front of millions of viewers walked away with the top spot on the NBC talent show The Voice, local television station Television Jamaica (TVJ) was quietly claiming its own success.

The RJR Communications Group subsidiary said the product was a huge success in terms of advertisements and audience attraction, though general manager Claire Grant said she was not in a position to give the figures.

"I know you want numbers, but I can't give you that," she said. "But it was attractive in terms of ads and viewership."

It may be seen as vindicatation for TVJ, which triggered outcry among Jamaicans when its purchase of the rights to air The Voice resulted in cable network provider Flow blocking the feed.

The Voice is aired on US network NBC Mondays and Tuesdays between 7:00pm and 9:00pm and was aired live on RE-TV, TVJ's partner station, with a repeat broadcast on the local channel at 9pm. Thousands of Jamaicans tuned in weekly to watch the show, with the once vocal criticism of TVJ appearing to have died down as the programme progressed.

" There was absolutely no regrets after the criticisms, there's none today, and there would be none whether she (Tessanne) won or not," Grant told the Caribbean Business Report. "We put on programmes all the time, once it positive and relevant."

It was a decision that made strategic sense for the company and the audience, she said.

Grant added that the company was aware that based on the talent, the Jamaican audience would be interested in seeing the show.

"It had the potential to be a game changer for Jamaica," she said.

Chin walked away with the top spot on Tuesday night, creating local music history and was the first Jamaican to come out as victor of The Voice.

Second spot went to 16-year-old Jacquie Lee, while Will Champlin picked up the third position.

In addition to the prestigious title, she walked away with US$100,000 as well as a recording contract with the Universal Music Group. She will also work with Tedder in developing new music.

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