How We’II End Dstv, Others’ Monopoly – FG
The Federal Government has revealed plans to end the monopoly enjoyed by cable television service providers, especially Digital Satellite Television, owned by MultiChoice, a South African Company. The plan is said to include ending exclusive rights to sporting events. Only Dstv currently broadcasts major football competitions in Nigeria, especially the English Premier League. The government said it had amended Nigeria’s broadcasting code to prevent Dstv and others from monopolising their channels and contents. The House of Representatives has been probing DStv for allegedly cheating its Nigerian subscribers by restricting them to prepaid plans and increasing its subscription rates on June 1, 2020, despite the economic impact of COVID-19 pandemic lockdown on the people. At the continuation of the investigative hearings organised by an ad-hoc committee of the House on the matter in Abuja on Tuesday, Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Mohammed, had dismissed claims by DStv that pay per view was not proper for the Nigerian market. Mohammed noted that StarTimes, the cable arm of the Nigerian Television Authority, was already operating for some years. The minister said, “On the issue of increase in price for subscribers, with the onset of COVID-19, one of the first things we did in the ministry with the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) was to provide succour to broadcasters. “We suspend payments for the initial two months to all broadcasters so that they would be able to absorb the impact of COVID-19. Therefore, it will be unfair for those for whom we have suspended payment to also at the same time increase their own fees.
Earlier, Chairman of the committee, asked Mohammed and the acting Director General of the NBC, to order DStv to suspend its recent rates’ increment. Mohammed immediately ordered the Director General of NBC to issue the notice. The committee chairman stated that the minister and all stakeholders present should ensure and commence full implementation of its directives.