Producers seek NBC action over payments

By Priscillia Alao
September 7, 2018

L-R: Paul Igwe, Victor Okpala, Ariyike Oladipo, Agatha Amata, Matthew Okuduwa and Jerry Isichei

Nigerian producers have called on the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to intervene in the issue of paying for airtime, with one claiming “ridiculous rates” are leading to content repetition.

The comments came during a heated debate on the topic at the Nigerian International Television (NITV) Summit this week, during a session titled Content Rules: Digitisation Demands for Broadcasters & Independent Producers.

Ariyike Oladipo, founder and CEO of producer Apreel Ventures, was among several from her industry to claim it was almost impossible for TV producers to excel in the current environment due to the need to constantly buy airtime from TV stations while also carrying the costs of production.

“We are given ridiculous rates that lead to content repetition,” said Oladipo, while pleading with NBC officials to find a way out of the problem.

Panellists explored the question of whether the NBC ought to put regulations in place so stations can thrive without relying on airtime payments.

However, NBC official Matthew Okuduwa said there was nothing the corporation could do: “Airtime purchase is simply a business relationship between content producers and broadcasting stations. And it is up to producers to either accept or reject it.”

The other panellists were Agatha Amata, founder of Rave TV; Paul Igwe, president of EMCOAN; and Victor Okpala, producer at Dope 7 Media. Jerry Isichei, CEO of Daches Media, moderated the session.

The panel also discussed whether stations should promote Nigerian content rather than foreign programming in order to boost the local economy. “Television stations should air less than an hour of foreign content so that local content producers can thrive,” argued Amata.

NITV delegates were told that the NBC is doing all it can to ensure that Nigerian broadcasters’ content is least 80% local.


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