The federal government has prohibited exclusivity rights in broadcasting sporting events in the country.
The minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who disclosed this in a statement issued in Abuja, said a new regulation now mandates broadcasters and exclusive licensees to share such rights with other broadcasters.
This is even as the minister directed the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to immediately implement measures aimed at sanitising and re-positioning the broadcast industry.
Share such rights, according to the minister will boost reach and also maximize utilization by all broadcasters of premium content, to grow their platforms and investment in other content.
The minister specifically directed NBC to implement a new regulation mandating broadcasters and exclusive licensees to share such exclusive rights with other broadcasters.
According to him, “This regulation prevents the misuse of monopoly or market power or anti-competitive and unfair practices by a foreign or local broadcaster to suppress other local broadcasters in the television and radio markets.
“This is so, having removed exclusivity from all content in Nigeria and mandated the sharing of all content upon the payment of commercially viable fees.”
Mohammed said the new regulation is contained in the report of the committee which he set up to work out the modalities for implementing the recommendations approved by President Muhammadu Buhari to re-position the broadcast industry.
The minister stressed that the break in the monopoly would boost reach and also maximise utilization by all broadcasters of premium content, in order to grow their platforms and investment in other content.
With the new directive, television viewers, especially lovers of sports may witness an end to MultiChoice’s monopoly on the live airing of high-profile sporting events.
High-profile sporting events, especially for well-loved sports, particularly soccer, are currently only available to subscribers of DSTV.
Meanwhile, stakeholders in the nation’s sector have hailed the federal government’s prohibition of exclusivity rights in broadcasting sporting events in the country describing it as a welcomed development.
The minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed had in a statement issued in Abuja Thursday made available to newsmen by Mr Segun Adeyemi Special Assistant to the President (Media), Office of the Minister of Information and culture said the move was aimed at eradicating monopoly in the sector.
Commenting on the development, the Corporate Communications Manager StarTimes, Mr Kunmi Balogun, said, “This is a good development for the industry and indeed subscribers. We will watch and see how events unfold and the good the initiative this brings to Nigerians.”
Specifically, DSTV has a monopoly on the live airing of English Premier League and UEFA Champions League in Nigeria.