The Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) has had its international channel removed from Europe’s largest digital satellite TV service, Sky, and barred from airing on channel 794 via the platform.
The move was confirmed by a message on Sky’s website which reads: “NTA International is currently temporarily removed from the EPG (Electronic Programme Guide).”
A Sky customer service official in the UK said that Sky had no control over NTA International since its rights are controlled by London-based minority channel distributor Ben TV.
However, according to sources, the news of NTA’s suspension broke shortly after the NBC and AIT dispute, in which Nigeria’s media regulator locked horns with Daar Communications, owner of independent broadcaster AIT.
That issue saw NBC suspend Daar’s broadcasting licence over alleged breaches of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code in its political coverage, but the matter was resolved earlier this week.
The move has not impacted Ben TV’s own channel on the Sky platform, which broadcasts into the UK, Ireland, Italy and German-speaking Europe. Sky is owned by US cable giant Comcast, also parent of NBCUniversal.
Ali Soyode, founder of European ethnic satellite channel BEN TV, has declared his ambition to run for president in the 2019 Nigerian elections.
Soyode, convener of YES Nigeria, said his mission is to empower youth, develop the economy, make tribalism extinct and ensure the armed forces and police have the resources they need.
“To me, police officers are as important as any officer or executive in Nigeria. Their job is not to protect only those that have the resources to hire private security officers, but to deal with anyone breaking the law and safeguarding the property and belongings of the common people,” he said.
Addressing dignitaries, well-wishers, YES stakeholders and the press, Soyode, who is also known as The Bridge, said he chose to run for the office after deliberating and discussing it with elders and young people in his community.
“We have the youth and the experience of our elders and both are needed to make Nigeria a greater nation,” he said.
Soyode is the founder and former CEO of BEN TV. Launched in 2003 on Sky (channel 175), BEN (Bright Entertainment Network) TV focuses on creating content for Africans in the diaspora.