NBC Orders Multichoice to Sublicence Channels to Metro Digital

Blessing Ibunge in Port Harcourt

In pursuant to a judgement of the Appeal Court sitting in Port Harcourt on July 13, 2022, the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has directed Multichoice Nigeria Limited to sublicence some of its channels to Metro Digital.

The directive was followed based on provisions of the National Broadcasting Commission Code as amended.

In the letter dated October 25, 2022, and addressed to the Chief Executive Officer of Multichoice and signed by George Obi, Head of Legal of NBC on behalf of the Director General, NBC stated: “You are hereby directed to comply with the 6th edition of the NBC Code as amended pursuant to Metrodigital’s request for channels sublicensing as ordered by the Federal Court of Appeal”.

Speaking on the development yesterday in Port Harcourt, Managing Director of Metro Digital, Dr. Ifeanyi Nwafor,

commended the role played by the federal government, the Minister for Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed and NBC towards the repositioning of the industry and end the monopolistic practices that have held the industry down for a long time.

Nwafor also lauded the Nigerian judiciary for the thorough and painstaking job to ensure sanity and a level playing field in the Nigeria broadcasting industry.

According to the Metro Digital boss, “The growth of the broadcast industry in Nigeria has been limited due to monopolistic practices of the dominant player in the industry.

“AIl indigenous companies licenced in the last 20 years did not succeed because of these practices which includes content exclusivity, warehousing etc.

“The federal government of Nigeria realising the danger and daunting challenges posed by these monopolistic practices took steps to address the problem through amendment to the broadcast code.

“The code outlawed foreign and domestic acquisition of contents on the basis of exclusivity. Furthermore, licensees and broadcasters are obligated to sublicense channels to other licensees or broadcasters for commercially agreeable fees.”

He further noted that, “In tune with the foregoing, the appeal court sitting in Port Harcourt, in response to the appeal filed by Metro Digital Limited, ordered the regulatory body, NBC to execute its statutory functions in accordance with the provisions of the code.”

Nwafor added that with the announcement of NBC complying to the court order, “The end of monopoly in Nigerian broadcasting industry will enhance competition, innovation and quality of service delivery.

“The industry will experience rapid growth and the consumers will benefit from the competitive pricing that follows”.

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