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MultiChoice partners Walt Disney Company Africa, adds ESPN to sports channels

Both PayTVs increased the price of their packages by the end of Q1 2020.

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Multichoice acquires 20% stake in BetKing, MultiChoice partners Walt Disney

MultiChoice Group has announced a new partnership with Walt Disney Company Africa. This was disclosed in a statement issued by the company, as seen by Nairametrics.

The partnership will now bring in two 24-hour ESPN channels to DStv customers in Africa starting from Wednesday 29 July 2020, thereby allowing them to enjoy the very best of US sports.

“As Africa’s leading video entertainment platform, we are unwavering in our commitment to ensure that we continue to find the best available content to delight our customers, both now and into the future. We endeavour to deliver both world-class international content as well as the very best in local content, giving our loyal customers a never-ending selection of outstanding entertainment,said MultiChoice Group’s CEO, Calvo Mawela.

READ MORE: MultiChoice in another pay-as-you-view tussle with Reps

The Walt Disney Company Africa’s Senior President and Country Manager, Christine Service, also spoke excitedly about the new partnership saying, “we are thrilled to be bringing the achievements and triumphs of both international and local athletes, our quality storytelling and innovative programming to a whole new audience of sports fans in Africa.”

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What this means

This partnership brings to the table more benefits for DStv customers as they will now have access to channels featuring major US sport as well as European football, on the ESPN & ESPN2 channels. Paying customers can now see popular leagues like the National Basketball Association (NBA), National Football League (NFL), National Hockey League (NHL) and Major League Baseball (MLB).

They will now also watch live football from the English Football League (EFL), Scottish Premier Football League (SPFL), Dutch Eredivisie and Major League Soccer (MLS), as well as local sports including the West African Football Union (WAFU), Cup of Nations, and featured boxing tournaments.

READ ALSO: Barcelona overtakes Real Madrid on biggest earners’ list 

A subtle market war

Earlier in June, StarTimes announced the addition of two premium sports and one Hollywood channel to its packages without any additional cost to customers.

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Both PayTVs increased the price of their packages by the end of Q1 2020 in response to the reviewed VAT rates and naira depreciation, but a step ahead, StarTimes introduced a flexible Pay-As-You-Go package, allowing customers to pay as for what they watch for as low as N90 daily. This is something that MultiChoice has refused to do despite customers’ agitations for it.

READ: How the United States plans to control the African Development Bank

Although MultiChoice’s new deal has been a long in the making, coming shortly after StarTimes’ announcement makes it seem like a strategic attempt by MultiChoice Group to stamp its print in the market whilst adequately competing with its rival.

Note that some years back, ESPN withdrew from broadcasting in Africa and Europe. This new deal means that only DSTv customers on the continent will now be able to watch the channels.

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Ruth Okwumbu has a MSc. and BSc. in Mass Communication from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and Delta state university respectively. Prior to her role as analyst at Nairametrics, she had a progressive six year writing career.As a Business Analyst with Narametrics, she focuses on profiles of top business executives, founders, startups and the drama surrounding their successes and challenges. You may contact her via [email protected]

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Business

CBN has disbursed N14.35 billion to DisCos for meter procurement – FG

The CBN has disbursed a total of N14.35 billion to DisCos to cover the procurement of meters.

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Electricity, Buhari moves against Discos and agents that collect money for prepaid meters

The Federal Government has announced that the Central Bank of Nigeria has disbursed a total of N14.35 billion to DisCos to cover the procurement of 263,860 meters under the National Mass Metering Programme (NMMP).

This was disclosed in a statement by the FG on Thursday.

READ: Electricity: FG approves one year waiver of import levy on meters

“According to the CBN, the facility disbursed is a loan that must be repaid by the DisCos on the basis of the previously agreed amortisation schedule. The repayment is to be deducted from payments made by consumers into the DisCos accounts with Deposit Money Banks (DMBs),” the Federal Government added.

The maximum tenor of the facility is 10 years but not exceeding 2030, while the moratorium on the principal amount is for a period not exceeding 24 months from the date of loan disbursement.

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READ: Peavey discusses the problems and opportunities of Nigeria’s meter asset provider regulation 

What you should know 

  • Nairametrics reported in November 2020 that President Muhammadu Buhari had moved to make funding available for DisCos immediately, in a bid to roll out 1,000,000 meters in the first phase, of the Mass Meter Programme.
  • The Ministry of Power said that the mass metering initiative of the Federal Government was paying off as one of the most ambitious packages in history.
  • The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) revealed that one million meter units were earmarked for the initial phase of the implementation of the National Mass Metering Programme (NMMP) with Ikeja Disco (IKEDC) topping the list with the approved meter allocation of 106,701 units (10.7%). Others were IBEDC with 103,997 units (10.4%), AEDC with 101,186 units (10.1%). PHEDC got the least of 77,070 units (7.7%).

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Coronavirus

Covid-19: Buhari approves N6.45 billion to set up 38 oxygen production plants

President Buhari has approved the sum of N6.45 billion for the set-up of 38 oxygen production plants across the country.

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Buhari sacks DG National Directorate of Employment, Nasiru Argungu

President Muhammadu Buhari has announced his approval of N6.45 billion for the set-up of 38 oxygen production plants across the country, in a bid to contain the second wave of Covid-19.

The President disclosed this in a statement on Thursday evening after the first National Economic Council meeting of the year presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, with State Governors, Federal Capital Territory Minister, Central Bank Governor, and other senior government officials in attendance.

READ: Covid-19: FG directs universities to suspend academic activities till further notice

“As part of efforts to contain the second wave of Covid-19, we’re setting up new oxygen production plants in 38 locations across Nigeria—to enhance the management of patients in need of oxygen.

“I have equally approved funding for the rehabilitation of oxygen plants in 5 hospitals,” Buhari said.

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The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed said the President said the fund’s release was necessitated by the rising cases of Covid-19 in the country with patients needing oxygen.

READ: Toyota suspends operations in China over Coronavirus outbreak 

What you should know 

  • Recall Nairametrics reported that the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, warned that the rising second wave of the pandemic in Lagos had seen the demand for oxygen rise 5 times from 70 six-liter cylinders per day to 350 six-liter cylinders at Yaba Mainland Hospital alone.
  • He added that the state government had the decentralized provision of oxygen and other services needed for Covid-19 patients, citing the provision of oxygen kiosks.

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Economy & Politics

FG says Excess Crude Account balance now stands at $72.4 million

The Federal Ministry of Finance has told the NEC that the Excess Crude Account (ECA) now stands at $72.4 million as at January 20, 2021.

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land borders to be reopened soon, Finance, Ministaer, vow to recover AMCON debt through issuance of promissory notes, FG reiterates stance on IPPIS as ASUU threatens strike, Finance Minister, Zainab Ahmed identifies capital market as key driver for economic growth , Nigeria has paid $1.09 billion to service its debts in 2019  , Dividends on oil proceeds will be taxed - FG , State governments own most bad roads - Finance Minister says, Budget deficit increases by N351.98 billion, as FG misses revenue target, Economy: Funding MSMEs in Nigeria , Finance Bill: New tax regime to take effect from Jan 2 - FG , Again, Finance Minister argues that Nigeria is not in debt distress , ECOWAS: Single currency regime not kicking off in 2020  , FG: CBN holds N43 billion stamp duty charges collected by banks , FG may shift deadline to deactivate bank accounts without tax verification, Confusion as ministry and presidency disagree over Finance Act start date, 7.5% VAT: Implementation to begin Feb 1 – FG , Finance Minister: Nigeria to go into recession if ..., Foreign tech companies that will now pay tax to FGN: see the criteria

The Federal Government has announced that Nigeria’s Excess Crude Account (ECA) balance as at 20th January 2021 is $72,411,197.80.

This was disclosed by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed at the first National Economic Council meeting of the year presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, with State Governors, Federal Capital Territory Minister, Central Bank Governor and other senior government officials in attendance.

READ: Nigeria’s growing current account deficit fans devaluation flames 

The FG said, “the ECA balance as at 20th January, 2021, $72,411,197.80; Stabilization Account, balance as at 19th January, 2021, N28, 800, 711,295.37; Natural Resources Development Fund Account, balance as at 19th January 2021, N95, 830,729,470.82.”

READ: Nigerians spend $9.01 billion on foreign travels in 2019 

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What you should know

  • In August 2015, during the early days of the Buhari administration, the ECA stood at $2.2 billion. It was $3.6 billion in February 2014, one of the highest balances on record.
  • According to the Central Bank of Nigeria’s annual report for 2018, Nigeria’s excess crude account fell from $2.45 billion in 2017 to $480 million as of December 2018.
  • In 2019, Nairametrics reported Nigeria’s Excess Crude Account had dropped to $480 million. This is as controversy continued to trail the $1 billion military spendings which was withdrawn from Nigeria’s Excess Crude Account.
  • Nairametrics reported in July 2020 that the  ECA had fallen by about 98% within the last 5 years to $72 million.
  • Nigeria has two Sovereign Wealth Funds: the Excess Crude Account and the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA). Note that these two are funded by the savings earned when oil prices are at their peak.

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