29 Licensed Nigerian PayTV Platforms Not Profitable, Says FG

29 Licensed Nigerian PayTV Platforms Not Profitable, Says FG

By Olawale Ajimotokan

The federal government has disclosed that only one out of the 30 Nigerian companies licensed by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to operate pay-TV was financially viable despite the amendment of the broadcast code to curb monopoly and exclusivity of programme content.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed revealed this yesterday during the ministerial Digital Switch Over (DSO) task force’s engagement with stakeholders in Lagos.

He attributed the unprofitability of the Nigerian Pay-TV companies to the entrenched monopoly of the broadcast industry by foreign companies.

He also described the weakening of the indigenous companies from competing and the exclusion of many Nigerians from enjoying or having access to premium content, especially in the area of sports and movies as unacceptable.

Mohammed noted that with the amendment to the Broadcasting Code, it was binding on anyone owning any sports rights to make such available to other parties in the country, who may be interested in acquiring these rights. He added that this also extended the opportunity for TV sports content to indigenous players.

He stressed that under the new the amendment, for a programme to qualify as local content, it must be authored, directed and produced by a Nigerian, adding that at least 75 per cent of the leading actors and major supporting cast must be Nigerians while a minimum of 75 per cent of its programme expenses and 75 per cent of post-production expenses paid for services be provided by Nigerians or Nigerian companies.

He said the initiative will develop the skills, expertise and industry of the local content market.

The minister said for the DSO, which would be re-launched in Lagos on April 29, to succeed and for local content to thrive and indigenous producers to be more engaged and the local advertising market to grow, the government has carried out an unprecedented reform of the broadcasting industry, having recognised that there is a nexus between those reforms and the success of the DSO.

“The amendments were necessitated by the need to boost the local content in Nigeria, curb anti-competitive and monopolistic tendencies and boost advertising revenues,” he said.

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