Nigerian Government initiated moves to end pay television service provider, MultiChoice’s monopoly on the live airing of high-profile sporting events on Thursday with a directive prohibiting exclusivity rights in broadcasting sporting events in the country.
The directive was one of the series of measures Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed directed the broadcasting industry regulator, National Broadcasting Commission, NBC to implement to sanitise and re-position the broadcast industry on Thursday.
High-profile sporting events, especially for well-loved sports, particularly soccer, are currently only available to subscribers of DSTV.
Specifically, DSTV has the monopoly on live airing of English Premier League and UEFA Champions League in Nigeria.
The era of liberalisation is, therefore, expected to witness the sporting events being accessible to other pay-TVs and free to air platforms in the country.
In a statement was made available to newsmen by Mr Segun Adeyemi, his Special Assistant on President (Media), the Minister specifically directed NBC to implement a new regulation mandating broadcasters and exclusive licensees to share such exclusive rights with other broadcasters.
This regulation prevents the misuse of monopoly or market power or anti-competitive and unfair practices by a foreign or local broadcaster to suppress other local broadcaster in the television and radio markets.
This is so, having removed exclusivity from all content in Nigeria and mandated the sharing of all content upon the payment of commercially viable fees,” he said.
Mohammed said the new regulation is contained in the report of the committee which he set up to work out the modalities for implementing the recommendations approved by President Muhammadu Buhari to re-position the broadcast industry.
What Does The Policy Mean?
As it stands, DSTV hold the exclusive rights for the Premier League and Serie A. This policy will mean that they will have to sell the rights to local stations like Star times, NTA and other free to air cable networks for coverage purposes.
The Federal Government will also determine the prices via “mandated sharing of all content upon the payment of commercially viable fees”.
The minister stressed that the break in monopoly will boost reach and also maximise utilization by all broadcasters of premium content, in order to grow their platforms and investment in other content.