Tag Archives: Cable Channels Nigeria

DSO to fuel Nigerian prodco growth

Nigeria’s digital switchover (DSO) will power growth across the country’s TV industry and fuel a surge in production, according to the CEO of the company overseeing the roll-out.

The country began its switch to digital in April 2016 in the state of Jos before expanding into Nigeria’s administrative capital Abudja later that year.

Rajiv Mekkat, CEO of Cable Channels Nigeria (CCN) (left), told C21 the roll-out to-date had involved 600,000 government-backed set-top boxes being activated, with more than 450,000 subscribers now active.

Mekkat said the boxes were being well received by viewers and were beginning to generate numerous production jobs as the new channel operators sought additional programming.

“We’ll need more content, of course, and that means more production companies having to generate more of that content, and that goes back to more jobs and all the associated opportunities.”

Nollywood and Bollywood programming would remain major fixtures on the new platform, Mekkat said, but he added that other genres would be likely as the DSO project expanded.

“It’s more movies and telenovelas, they’re the main things going on now but I’m sure we’ll move into panel shows and reality series – at the moment there are only one or two. We’re not there yet but we’re catching up.”

The CCN boss admitted the roll-out to-date had been “a little slow” but said that once completed the DSO would mean “plenty more Nigerian content and allow OTT’s and other new media opportunities for international customers.”

The Nigerian Broadcasting Commission licensed CCN to work across the switchover, with a remit to develop platform offerings and work on content for free-to-air and DTH services. 

Mekkat said that the manufacture of the boxes would also create employment, with the intention of producing all the country’s set-top boxes in Nigeria rather than importing. “That will boost up employment and should give many Nigerians a job,” Mekkat added.

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CCNL sues NBC over licence revocation

Content aggregation company Cable Channels Nigeria (CCNL) has filed a N15bn (US$41m) lawsuit against Nigeria’s National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) over the revocation of its broadcasting licence.

The court hearing has began at the Federal High Court in Abuja. CCNL claims the NBC should pay special damages for revoking its licence without following due process.

Also being sued as part of the lawsuit is the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami (SAN).

The final sitting was meant to take place on October 30 but none of the defendants or their representatives showed up, so the case was adjourned until November 19 by Justice Ahmed Mohammed.

CCNL points out its licence had been in use for over two years and is requesting the NBC pay almost US$5m to cover additional costs incurred, since its claims the revocation was unjustified, unknown to law and liable to be nullified.

CCNL, a consortium of Nigerian cable TV operators, also wants the court to recover its licence fee of N150m which it had initially paid. In addition, the plaintiff is requesting N15bn in damages as well as N20m for its legal fees.

The content aggregation licence issued to the plaintiff in May 28, 2015 for the transition from analogue to digital was said to have been revoked on June 22, 2018 by the NBC via a letter.

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SES reaches 11m Nigerian homes

European satellite operator SES expanded its reach in Nigeria from three million TV homes in 2015 to 11 million in 2017, an increase of 367% in just two years.

Clint Brown

A market report from Satellite Monitor recently stated the Luxembourg-based company now reaches over 11 million TV homes in Nigeria, 3.5 million of which are directly served by its satellite fleet.

Therefore, SES now directly serves 37% of satellite TV homes in the country. However, the growth of SES can also be attributed to the advent of digital terrestrial television (DTT) homes fed indirectly by SES.

The prime orbital position at 28.2º east was described as a key driver for the growth of SES’s direct reach, with three million TV homes in Nigeria directly served via this orbital slot, up from 1.3 million in 2015.

This video position hosts SES’s premium free-to-air TV platform for Nigeria, giving broadcasters access to the highest technical reach in West Africa. The growth of SES’s reach was also driven by direct-to-home (DTH) satellite broadcasting and feeding DTT head-ends via 5º east.

There are currently a total of 35 million TV homes in Nigeria, of which close to 10 million are served by satellite and the rest are reached by terrestrial networks. The penetration of digital TV has expanded to 25 million homes receiving digital TV signals, which represents 35% growth compared with 2015.

Clint Brown, recently appointed VP of sales and market development for Africa at SES Video, said: “SES has been committed to driving the growth of digital TV in Nigeria for many years, and local partners in the country appreciate the Satellite Monitor study as a token of our commitment.

“We are particularly excited by our growing technical reach at 28.2º east, which broadcasters and content programmers will be able to leverage to increase their audience via our Nigerian TV platform. In addition, the results show that the hybrid DTH/DTT approach is the winning strategy to deliver TV entertainment to the highest number of TV homes.”

The news comes after SES inked a deal with Cable Channels Nigeria in 2016 to provide a video platform via 28.2 º east for the provision of DTT and DTH broadcasting in Nigeria, as part of the country’s digital switchover strategy.

SES is the satellite operator behind the Astra constellation and has over 50 satellites in geostationary orbit and 16 in medium Earth orbit. The company currently has a market capitalisation of €5.96bn (US$7.15bn).

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