Mohammed vows to end TV monopolies
Nigeria’s minister of information and culture, Lai Mohammed, has revealed the government intends to put a stop to the country’s broadcasting monopolies because of the effect they have on the TV industry’s potential.
He made the announcement at a recent a meeting with online publishers in Lagos, adding that he had implemented reforms and inaugurated the National Broadcasting Commission reform implementation committee to impose stiffer penalties on those who violate broadcast regulations.
“A situation where a few people corner a chunk of the industry to the detriment of others, especially our teeming and talented youths, is totally unacceptable and untenable,” Mohammed said.
“Monopolies stunt growth, kill talent and discourage creativity. The clearest example of the creative energy that can be unleashed when monopoly is totally broken can be seen in the telecommunications industry.”
As part of the shake-up, MultiChoice’s current monopoly over the live airing of important sporting events will end.
“In the case of Nigeria, it’s the monopoly of content that breeds anti-competition practices. You cannot use your financial or whatever power to corner and hold on tight to a chunk of the market, preventing others from having access. Such monopolies are crumbling everywhere in the world and Nigeria cannot be left out,” Mohammed added.
Although DStv has the monopoly on the live broadcasting of the UEFA Champions League and English Premier League in Nigeria, a source within the ministry suggested the new era of liberalisation is expected to allow sporting events to be accessed by other pay TV and free-to-air platforms.