MetroDigital TV says it is set to commence operation just as the National Broadcasting Commission, NBC, has directed Multichoice to sublicense some of its channels to the pay TV based on the provisions of the National
Recall that the Court of Appeal sitting in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital had on July 13th 2022 ordered the NBC to direct Multichoice Nig. Limited to comply with the NBC Code by sublicensing requested channels to Metro Digital.
The Managing Director of Metro Digital, Dr Ifeanyi Nwafor, said NBC had on October 25th 2022 sent a directive to Multichoice to comply with the 6th edition of the NBC Code as amended, pursuant to Metrodigital’s request for channel sublicensing as ordered by the Federal Court of Appeal.
Nwafor who spoke to journalists in Port Harcourt on Monday, expressed optimism that Metro Digital will begin operations as it awaits Multichoice to obey the NBC directive, as ordered by the Appeal court.
He said they had requested for 52 channels from Multichoice, while regretting that the growth of Nigeria’s broadcast industry has been limited due to monopoly.
He commended the federal government and the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, for repositioning the nation’s broadcast industry to end monopolistic practices.
“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 includes content exclusivity, warehousing etc.
He said “The federal government of Nigeria realizing the danger and daunting challenges posed by these monopolistie practices took steps to address the problem through the 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.
“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. We are glad to announce today that NBC has comnplied with the order of the court.
“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.
“We commend and appreciate 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.
“We also like to commend the Nigerian judiciary for the thorough and painstaking job to ensure sanity and a level playing field in the Nigeria broadcasting industry. God Bless Nigeria.”