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NBC Code: Why video streaming platforms say ‘No’

The newly amended code will destroy PayTV, effectively turn a private enterprise into state property.

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NBC, Jason Njoku, Founder and CEO of iROKO tv

When the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) released it’s amended 6th edition of the NBC Code a few days ago, some industry observers agreed that the anti-competitive objectives of the revised document, which is to maintain and promote fair and efficient market conduct, conforms to international standard.

The observers lauded the efforts of the Federal Government through NBC to protect Nigerians from what they described as modern colonization imposed by owners of PayTV firms on Nigerians. They insisted that the PayTV, especially the ones owned by foreigners, have fleeced Nigerians over the years without ‘meaningful rewards’.

What the amended code says
A part of the code (9.1.1.2) states that “In furtherance thereof, a Broadcaster shall offer the Sports and News programme and/or channels to other broadcasters for retail to residential subscribers in Nigeria on the following terms:
• Upon reasonable request in writing
• Within a reasonable time
• On a non-exclusive basis
• Without any undue discrimination
• In accordance with the requirements of this section and directions issued by the Commission.

READ ALSO: See the agreements AIT and NBC accepted as court gives final ruling

According to NBC, every broadcaster must license its broadcast and/or signal rights in any genre of programming to another broadcaster in Nigeria if:
• The genre of program(s) enjoy(s) compelling viewership by Nigerians;
• It relates to a product or service that is objectively necessary to be able to compete effectively on a downstream market;
• It is likely to lead to the elimination of effective competition on the downstream markets; and
• The refusal is likely to lead to consumer deprivation.

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Any platform that contravenes this provision will be given the chance to comply or risk a fine of ‎₦10 million ($25,773).

What it means: The broadcast code would prevent PayTV and streaming platforms from making content exclusive on their platforms. It compels PayTV and video-on-demand platforms like Netflix, Amazon, iROKOtv, Scene One TV, Africa Magic, etc to sub-license their content at prices the NBC will regulate. If they refuse to share or comply with the NBC’s prices, they would be sanctioned and probably fined, if adamant.

Operators lament
On the other hand, concerned movie content distributors and operators have kicked against NBC’s move to outlaw content exclusivity. As far as they are concerned, owning exclusive content is their major Unique Selling Proposition (USP) and they are not ready to lose such fortune for others that did not work for it.

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Reacting to the development, Chief Executive Officer, iRokoTV, Jason Njoku, one of the top PayTV platforms in Nigeria, on his Twitter handle explained that the new law, if implemented, will destroy PayTV in Nigeria and alleged that NBC in compelling sub-licensing of content & regulating price, would effectively turn a private enterprise into state property.

READ ALSO: How FG’s new broadcast regulation would boost local content

Njoku said, “Nigeria Broadcasting Commission (NBC) in making exclusivity illegal, compelling sub-licensing of content & regulating price, are effectively turning the private enterprise into state property. Interference Distorts Markets. If implemented this 100% destroys PayTV in Nigeria.

“This our champagne socialism & zero input style of policymaking is the reason Nigeria is stunted in everything. I invest billions naira in content then I am compelled to share with everyone else as NBC sets the price. Why? Dark forces or incompetence is at play here. Ridiculous.”

He explained that if Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua are to fight, and it is to be shown in Nigeria, that means the equivalent of 30% of the license costs need to be invested in an equivalent local sport. “Who will pay for that?” he inquired.

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A policy expert and a lawyer, Ayobami Oyeleke, explained that the NBC, which was created by a military decree in 1992 and later became an Act of the Nigerian National Assembly to regulate Nigeria’s broadcast industry, does not have the power to regulate copyrights of others.

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He said that Nigeria’s Copyright Act allows a content producer to grant to distributors and that the NBC has no legal right to determine who shares what content or even fix certain prices.

He said,“The agency cannot correct a wrong with another wrong. For such code to be a success, it must approach the National Assembly to amend the Copyright Act. After three readings, the committee would hold a public hearing in that regard before that is done.”

If NBC would take the amended code to the National Assembly or it would implement the policy without taking that route,  operators and stakeholders would find out in few weeks.

 

Abiola has spent about 14 years in journalism. His career has covered some top local print media like TELL Magazine, Broad Street Journal, The Point Newspaper. The Bloomberg MEI alumni has interviewed some of the most influential figures of the IMF, G-20 Summit, Pre-G20 Central Bank Governors and Finance Ministers, Critical Communication World Conference. The multiple award winner is variously trained in business and markets journalism at Lagos Business School, and Pan-Atlantic University. You may contact him via email - [email protected]

8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Victor Ikpe

    August 22, 2020 at 7:53 am

    Isn’t this amendment going to benefit the audience? I mean if Dstv cant offer foreign football, it brings options for the audience to pick what they want to watch and on what platform, that means good content availability at cheaper rates.

  2. Talkative

    August 22, 2020 at 8:03 am

    It’s a good idea, the main aim is to promote monopoly

  3. Timileyin Yusuf

    August 22, 2020 at 11:11 am

    Personally I feel the amendment is going to benefit the audience. If Dstbn no longe has right to foreign football exclusively then its creating option for the audience to pick what they want to watch. And it all goes down at a cheaper rate. Seems fair to me

  4. abiodun damilola

    August 22, 2020 at 11:50 am

    The idea of the amendment is to curb monopolistic in the broadcast industry , it’s a benefit go run the audience

  5. abiodun damilola

    August 22, 2020 at 11:53 am

    The idea of the amendment is to curb monopolistic acts in the broadcast industry , it’s a benefit to the audience .

  6. Timileyin Yusuf

    August 22, 2020 at 11:55 am

    Personally I feel the amendment is going to benefit the audience. If Dstv no longer has right to foreign football exclusively then its creating option for the audience to pick what they want to watch. And it all goes down at a cheaper rate. Seems fair to me

  7. abiodun damilola

    August 22, 2020 at 11:56 am

    i believe the idea behind the amendment is to curb monopolistic act in the broadcast industry . well , it’d favor the audience

  8. Chioma

    August 22, 2020 at 2:03 pm

    Since the main aim of the amendment is to promote anti monopoly
    Then personally i feel it’s a good idea

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Obituaries

Just-in: Diego Armando Maradona is dead

Argentine football star, Diego Armando Maradona is dead.

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Argentine football star, Diego Armando Maradona is dead.

This was disclosed by the Premier League via its Twitter handle on Wednesday evening.

It tweeted, “We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of footballing great, Diego Maradona, an extraordinarily gifted footballer who transcended the sport.

“Our thoughts and sincere condolences to Diego’s family, friends and those who knew him.”

He reportedly died of a heart attack on Wednesday at his home in the outskirts of Buenos Aires.

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Maradona, 60, had recently battled health issues and underwent emergency surgery for a subdural haematoma several weeks ago.

 

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Details soon …

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Energy

FG to begin online registration, monitoring of petrol stations, depots

The DPR has stated that it will commence the remote monitoring, registration, and accreditation of all petroleum products depots.

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FG to begin online registration, monitoring of petrol stations, depots

The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has revealed that it plans to automate and begin remote monitoring, registration, and accreditation of petroleum products depots, retail outlets, and the entire downstream oil and gas industry, with the launch of the newly established Downstream Remote Monitoring Systems (DRMS).

While disclosing a statement in Abuja, the Head, Public Affairs of the DPR, Paul Osu, pointed out that the newly established Downstream Remote Monitoring Systems is expected to take off on December 1, 2020, after the launch in Abuja.

READ: Nigeria’s 5,000 BPD refinery will produce 271 million liters of petrol every year

According to a report by Vanguard, Osu explained that the DRMS is a web-based solution designed to provide intelligent regulatory and inventory management system for petroleum products supply and distribution from depot to retail outlets and also as a regulatory tool to monitor retail outlets and depot activities.

He said, “Other features of the application include retail outlets accreditation and re-registration, nationwide automated product inventory management, retail outlets coordinate recording for mapping purposes and transactions management and report generation of dealers nationwide.

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READ: NNPC says local operators must improve capacity to achieve low cost of oil production

“The establishment of DRMS is another strategic initiative of DPR to continue to create opportunities and enable business in the oil and gas industry in Nigeria.”

It can be recalled that the DPR had a few months ago, launched the National Production Monitoring System (NPMS), another online platform to assist the oil and gas regulator accurately monitor national crude oil production and exports, through the provision of a system for direct and independent acquisition of production data from oil and gas facilities in Nigeria

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READ: House of Reps summon Emefiele, NNPC GMD over unremitted N3.24 trillion

This is to ensure timely and accurate reporting of production figures and export data. This is also expected to guard against the crude oil theft that is prevalent in Nigeria’s upstream oil sector or reported cases of crude oil that is sold but unaccounted for.

The NPMS is an initiative that is developed as a replacement for the current paper-based report and ensures ready production reporting to the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) and other agencies.

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Financial Services

Era of backlog of unsettled claims is over – NAICOM boss

NAICOM has stated that it will monitor and sanction insurance companies who fail to settle claims as at when due.

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NAICOM

The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) is out to seriously sanction any insurance companies with huge unsettled claims.

This disclosure was made by the Commissioner for Insurance, Mr. Sunday Thomas, at the on-going 2020 Insurance Directors’ Conference, jointly organized by NAICOM and the College of Insurance & Financial Management (CIFM), held at the Oriental Hotel in Lagos.

READ: EFCC gives reason for unspent N4 billion in 2020 budget

Mr. Thomas reiterated the need for the operators, post-pandemic, to appropriately strengthen their human and financial capital for effective participation in big-ticket risks to take advantage of the obvious gains of the domestication policy in the Nigeria Content Development Act 2010.

In his words, Mr. Thomas stated, “More businesses especially in the oil and gas and the Aviation sectors are now being reinsured abroad. Of more concern is the declining participation of life companies in the annuity business, which is the emerging business for our industry.

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READ: SEC issues pre-notice on cancellation of certificates of 157 inactive CMOs

“These are the areas where the industry can impose itself on the economy through the control of funds for national development. The industry must invest handsomely in technology, one of our key drivers for developing the market.

“The Institutions should be prepared to digitalize their processes, procedures, and systems, in order to make their operations seamless and real-time. The Commission is investing heavily in automating its processes and expects nothing less from the insurance institutions. An industry Information Technology Guideline has been issued for the operators and the Commission requires your support and cooperation for effective compliance.”

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(READ MORE: FG seeking FDI to develop Special Economic Zones – Trade Minister)

Why this matters

Prompt settlement of claims should be a top priority for the insurance operators in achieving an excellent and responsive customer service experience. Settlement of claims has been a serious nightmare for quite a number of customers, resulting to the abysmally low insurance culture in Nigeria.

READ: Fidelity Bank Plc must cover the chink in its curtains to keep rising 

Customers are more likely to patronize the insurance companies that are prompt in claims settlement and by extension improve the industry penetration in the market.

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