A company in Nigeria, Metro Digital Limited, has applauded the government and its Ministry of Information and Culture for supposedly “ending the monopoly of cable television rights by major pay television companies in Nigeria”.
According to Dr Ifeanyi Nwafor, Managing Director of Metro Digital, the government’s intervention will create jobs for thousands of people in Nigeria, tackle the challenge of economic inequality and improve life quality.
Nwafor emphasised that the government’s decision to outlaw the monopoly of television rights would further promote competition and reduce the cost of subscriptions.
“We believe that with the end of monopoly, the industry will grow exponentially with lots of innovations. Thus, we are thrilled, considering that the broadcasting market was foreclosed in the past, as premium content was bought exclusively.
“The exclusivity made bouquets without premium contents unattractive and problematic for local cable television stations to compete in the local market.
“News channels like CNN, premium sporting events such as the English Premier League, Champions League were acquired exclusively to the exclusion of other operators in the industry,” he added.
Nwafor noted that the industry’s monopoly led to the closure of television entities such as Trend TV, Daar Sat, Consat, and FSTV, among others, as they could not cope with unhealthy business practices in the sector.
He further added, “The United States, with a population of 350 million people, has over 400 viable pay television entities. So there is no reason why Nigeria, with only a population of over 200 million people, should have only one or two pay-TV services.
Nwafor has also called on the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission to comply with the directive of the Court of Appeal in Port Harcourt, instructing it to address the firm’s complaints on a trade dispute between it and MultiChoice within 21 days.
On 13 July 2022, the Court of Appeal in Port Harcourt ruled in favour of Metro Digital in a cable TV channel licensing case it appealed against MultiChoice.