Federal Government Plan to Put an End to DSTV

Plans to end the monopoly enjoyed by cable television service providers, especially Digital Satellite Television (DSTV) has being revealved by the Federal Government.

This plan by the government will bring to an end exclusive rights to sporting events especially the English Premier League which is mainly provided by DSTV (a south Africa based company).

Nigeria’s broadcasting code has being impelled to prevent DStv and others from monopolising their channels and contents.

The House 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.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, in a meeting organised by an ad hoc committee in Abuja had dismissed claims by DStv that pay- per- view was not proper for the Nigerian market .

Noting that StarTimes, the Nigerian Television Authority, was already operating for some years.

Still speaking, 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 was to provide succour to broadcasters.

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We suspended payment 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 whom we have suspended payment to also at the same time increase their own fees. And I’ m sure that the DG of NBC will take up this matter. ”

On the issue of monopoly, Mohammed stated that President  Muhammadu Buhari had in 2019 set up a board of enquiry to look into the activities of broadcasting stations.

By determining the potency of the broadcasting code and broadcasting act to curtail and regulate the industry against excesses.

Mohammed noted that some recommendations would require that the National Assembly amend the provisions of the Nigeria Broadcasting Act.

The minister said "a lot of attacks has being faced by the ministry as a result of these amendments. These amendments have actually struck at the heart of monopoly, giving back to Nigerians their own industry. ”

The acting Director General of the NBC, Armstrong Idachaba, has being asked to order DStv to suspend its recent rates’ increment.

The House committee’s directives included “a marching order to the service providers, particularly Multichoice's DStv, to reverse the recent June 1, 2020 price hike and revert to the old price.

Saying it is not the best of times to increase the prices of services, no matter the reasons for such increase, taking into consideration the ravaging effect of COVID- 19 on the economy of Nigerians. ”

It added, “Come up with a robust strategy to break the monopoly and open up the industry for larger participation."

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