The Director-General of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Armstrong Idachaba, says the commission is not backing down on the controversial amendment to the country’s broadcasting code.
Idachaba said the new broadcasting code is to break the monopoly of “greedy capitalists” who “call themselves dominant players” and allow local payTV platforms to thrive.
In March 2020, the NBC released the 6th edition of its broadcasting code, which mandates sub-licensing of premium content and kills the idea of exclusivity.
Broadcasters, columnists, and Multichoice, one of the dominant players in the Nigerian payTV industry, have spoken against the code, which they say further stifles the growth of the industry.
But Idachaba disagrees; according to him, “the amendments have been made, no going back because we believe it is good for our country, they are already operational.”
Speaking with Osasu Igbinedion on The Osasu Show, Idachaba said the NBC has licenced several local payTV platforms, but they do not survive due to the presence of the likes of DStv.
When asked about the negative effect the lack of exclusivity clause may have on DStv, Idachaba said: “Let me give you a poser as background: Why is it, have you ever thought, that our local tv, cable, paid services are nonexistent? There is no Nigerian that is active on the payTV platform, no Nigerian company.
“NBC licenced several, up to 30 Nigerian firms to offer paid television services in Nigeria and none of them succeeded. Why, because they cannot compete in the international content market.
“And what happens to the international content market, the people with the big purse, the global capitalist, those that call themselves dominant players, they go to acquire those rights and keep it to themselves in the guise of exclusivity and deny all other operators an opportunity for sublicensing.
“What does that do? What it does is to create a monopolistic economy for whoever is the buyer of that content and the person is able to maximize profit unhindered. That is why you find internet penetration in Nigeria is increasing by the day. That is why you find that all those big monopolies break even and make tonnes of money.
“What we are saying is that when you go to acquire these rights, because you are acquiring them for the Nigerian market, because your intent is to exploit the Nigerian audiences and viewers, we want you also to give back by sublicensing to local Nigerian players that may be interested.”