DSO reaches Kwara, Kaduna
Nigeria’s Federal Government has begun the switch-over from analogue terrestrial broadcasting to digital transmission in the states of Kwara and Kaduna.
One year after digital switch over (DSO) took place in Jos and Abuja, Nigeria’s digitisation strategy continues in Kwara and Kaduna states. ITS and Pinnacle Broadcast will act as signal distributors in Kwara and Kaduna, respectively, and FreeTV will be the nationwide platform for over 200 channels in the switch-over.
Speaking at the launch of Kwara’s DSO, held at the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) offices in Ilorin, the Minister for Information & Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said DSO will generate N100bn annually.
This money will be generated through the FreeTV distribution network, which has more than 200 channels, and is sure to create opportunities for employment for technicians and manufacturers in the country, he added.
“Digital switch-over will create quality services, ensure access to information to all people of the country, create economic empowerment and provide a level playing field for all companies to engage in viable businesses.”
The Minister also said the Federal Government seeks to take the digital television experience to all states across the nation within the next few weeks.
“The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), the signal distributors, the set-top box manufacturers, the digiteam and indeed all stakeholders are pulling all the stops to ensure that the DSO train continues unimpeded on its journey across the country,” he said.
The Minister made it known that the funding for the digital television service is coming from advertising and pay services, stating: “There is an urgent need to grow the advertising industry, since this is the oil needed to make the FreeTV environment thrive, create rewards for the producers, great content for the consumers and pay the signal distributors.
“Thankfully, the advertising industry also sits under our Ministry. Our research into where the advertising money is going has revealed certain practices that are inimical to the growth of the sector. We will do all that is necessary to correct the distortions in the advertising industry,” he said.
“On the pay TV side, we have to completely open up the market so we can have more competitive pricing in order to reach more homes and ultimately increase the revenues that are able to fund more local investment,” he continued.
“At the end of the day, the ordinary Nigerian must reap the benefits of digital television without having to break the bank. This is why we are striving to ensure that we make a success of the analogue-to-digital transition. We must not and cannot afford to fail.”
Two days after the launch at Ilorin, DSO also began in Kaduna State on December 22. The launch event had in attendance: Alhaji Lai Mohammed; Kaduna state governor Nasir El Rufai; NBC director general Madibbo Kawu; and chairman of the Broadcasting Organizations of Nigeria John Momoh, among others.