CEM REPORT, MEDIA | Multichoice has been directed to sublicense some of its channels to Metro Digital Limited (Metro TV).
The directive is in line with the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC)’s current Broadcast Code and a recent appeal court judgment.
The NBC directive to Multichoice was conveyed via a letter dated 25 October 2022, addressed to the Chief Executive Officer of Multichoice and signed by Chief George Obi, Head of Legal of NBC on behalf of the Director General of the commission.
“You are hereby directed to comply with the 6th edition of the NBC Code as amended pursuant to Metro Digital’s request for channel sublicensing as ordered by the Federal Court of Appeal.”
Managing Director, of Metro TV, Ifeanyi Nwafor, told journalists in Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital that the development would end the Pay TV monopoly, restore several jobs loss and benefit Pay TV consumers with better service at affordable rates.
“The growth of the broadcast industry in Nigeria has been limited due to monopolistic practices of the dominant player in the industry. All indigenous companies licensed in the last twenty years did not succeed because of these practices which include content exclusivity, warehousing, etc.
“Federal Government of Nigeria realizing the inherent danger outlawed foreign and domestic acquisition of contents on the basis of exclusivity, through an amendment to the Broadcast Code. Furthermore, licensees and broadcasters are obligated to sublicense channels to other licensees or broadcasters for commercially agreeable fees”,
The MD who has been in a three-year legal battle with NBC and Multichoice to do the needful expressed delight in the move of NBC.
In tune with the foregoing, the appeal court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State in an appeal filed by Metro Digital, ordered the regulatory body, NBC to execute its statutory functions in accordance with the provisions of the code.
“We are glad NBC has complied with the order of the court. The end of monopoly in Nigeria’s broadcasting industry will enhance competition, innovation, and quality of service delivery. The industry will experience rapid growth, consumers will benefit from the competitive pricing that follows.
“We commend the role played by the FG, 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.”
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Nwafor who said Metro Digital would restore operations soon disclosed that his organization has applied to Multichoice requesting to be sublet Metro TV over 50 channels including viewers’ favorite, the English Premier League on Supersports.