FG inaugurates Digital Switch-Over in Lagos

…Liberty TV, 59 others on FreeTV platform to beam content to Lagos households  

The National Broadcasting Commission, (NBC), has officially launched the Digital Switch Over (DSO) in Lagos State, to transit from analogue to digital transmission and increase television penetration. 

Picture caption: Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed and other officials during the launch of DSO in Lagos.

The event, which was held at Ikeja, Lagos, marked the beginning of the second phase of the roll-out of DSO across the federation.

The DSO, which was delivered with the brand name ‘FreeTV,’ signifies the transition from analog to digital television across the country.

Speaking at the Lagos DSO launch yesterday, the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, said it took the DSO train over three years to arrive in Lagos State.

He said the success of the project was made possible through the collaboration of the NBC; the Digiteam, Broadcast Signal distributors; Set-Top-Box manufacturers; the Middleware providers-Inview and Renmore; Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON); creative content producers and members of the Ministerial Task Force on DSO, which he chairs.

Recall that the first phase of the DSO roll-out was held in Jos, Abuja, Ilorin, Kaduna, Enugu, and Osogbo between April 2016 and February 2018.

Mohammed said the DSO project will enhance the Lagos Smart City Project while revolutionising television viewing for the more than 5 million TV households in the State, adding that about one million jobs to be created by the DSO project in the next three years will come from Lagos.

Mohammed disclosed that DSO will launch in Kano State on June 3rd; Rivers, on July 8th; Yobe, on July 15th; Gombe on August 12th; Imo, on August 24th; Akwa-Ibom, on August 31st; Oyo, on September 9th; Jigawa on September 23rd; Ebonyi, on October 17th; Katsina, on October 21st; Anambra, on November 4th and Delta State, on November 18th.

The DSO offers viewers about 60 digital channels, including sports, music, movies, and news, it also provides Value-Added Services.

According to Mohammed, there are over one million Set-Top-Boxes ready to be released to households.

A set-top box is a device that enables a television set to receive and decode digital broadcasts.

“Once a TV household acquires the Set-Top-Box and pays the once-a-year access fee, which is a token, it’s free viewing all the way. 

This enables millions of Nigerians who cannot afford to pay the rising subscription fees being charged by the Pay-TV platforms to enjoy the benefit of digital television”, the minister said.

“Our FreeTV brand is not a fluke; there is no monthly subscription payment”, he clarified.

Also speaking at the launch, the Director-General of the NBC, Armstrong Idachaba, said the Federal Government made a huge financial commitment to ensure the success of the project, adding that with the launch of the DSO, a set-top box is all that Lagosians need to enjoy over 30 digital television services, subscription-free.

With the commencement of the DSO, Liberty TV and 59 others on the FreeTV platform are subsequently going to beam programme content to Lagos households.

Idachaba said the NBC has licensed over 140 Digital Terrestrial television channels cutting across national, regional, and local channels.

The NBC boss said within six months, analog broadcasting will be switched off in Lagos, and all households need to purchase the set-top box to view channels.

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