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Broadcaster Abducted in Calabar over 2019 Elections Comments

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Peter Etim, popularly called Petex, a broadcaster with the state-owned Cross River Broadcasting Corporation, (CRBC), has been abducted in Calabar.

 

Irene Igbo, DSS and PPRO of the state police command,said they were aware of the kidnap, and were working to establish contact with the kidnappers.

 

The incident was said to have happened early in the morning when the victim was about to leave his house to his work place.

 

Comrade Victor Ndu, chairman of Nigeria Union of Journalists in Cross River State, has condemned the kidnap of the ace broadcaster and called for immediate release of Petex.

 

Ndu called on the security agencies in the state to wake up to their duties.

 

It is suspected that Petex may have made a political statement that was not palatable.

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More Mixed Martial Arts on DStv as SuperSport Partners with EFC

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This week SuperSport, the leader in sports broadcasting, confirmed a multi-year broadcast partnership with EFC, a world renowned Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) organisation.

With the global meteoric growth of MMA and EFC over the last 10 years, SuperSport has doubled down on the sport and now brings DStv customers in Africa the best MMA content that the world has to offer: partnering with UFC, the Las Vegas based global MMA powerhouse, plus now EFC, the African based sport entertainment sensation.

Speaking on the partnership, Gideon Khobane, chief executive, SuperSport, said “Well aware of the international growth of MMA, we are proud to partner with EFC.

“Apart from high-quality contests, EFC’s excellent production values are consistent with SuperSport’s and we look forward to embarking on this great journey together.”

Cairo Howarth, President, EFC, said “We are extremely excited to partner with SuperSport.

“SuperSport provides fans across Africa the best possible viewing of EFC content, in HD and in multiple languages, promoting EFC, associated brands and athletes more than ever before.”

The new partnership will see hours of dedicated EFC programming every day on SuperSport, as well as 10 live primetime events per year.

Notable highlights of the new broadcast partnership include:

• EFC’s live event broadcast will feature all five main card bouts, aired live in primetime between 20:00 and 23:00 CAT on SuperSport.

• EFC’s hit reality series, The Fighter – with season 2 (TF2) currently in production – will make its debut on SuperSport.

• All EFC content will be broadcast in High Definition, giving fans the best viewer experience.

• All live events will also be carried on multiple platforms including DStv online platforms and atwww.supersport.com

• Additional EFC events, such as the official weigh-ins and pre- and post-event media briefings will be carried live on SuperSport.

• EFC programming will be seen regularly on SuperSport channels throughout Sub-Saharan Africa, via the broadcast of the full EFC library.

Added to this exciting news, double division EFC champion, Dalcha Lungiambula, was revealed to have signed with UFC.

He follows the likes of EFC champions Don Madge and Danny Henry to recently sign with the Las Vegas based organisation.

Due to signing with UFC, Lungiambula has vacated his titles, making interim champ, USA’s Jared Vanderaa, now the undisputed heavyweight champion, and the light heavyweight division in search of a new king.

It was also revealed that Vanderaa will make his first title defence against the number 1 contender, DRC’s hard-hitting Ricky Misholas.

EFC content starts broadcasting on SuperSport beginning March 2019, with the first live broadcast of EFC 77 Van Staden vs Cummins, Vanderaa vs Misholas, taking place on Saturday 16 March.

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Startimes Says it Has 3m Nigerian Subscribers

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William Masy, StarTimes Overseas Public Relations director has disclosed that about 3 million Nigerians are subscribed to the organisation’s products and services across the country’s six geopolitical zones.

 

William disclosed this while receiving a Delegation of Nigerian Journalists at the StarTimes Corporate Headquarters in Beijing, China.

 

According to him, Nigeria has been a big market for the company’s products and services in Africa.

 

“StarTimes, which was founded in 1988, has now established subsidiaries in more than 30 countries, including Rwanda, Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Mozambique, Guinea, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), South Africa and others.

 

“Nigeria is currently the largest market for our products and services than other countries. We currently have three million subscribers in the whole of Nigeria.

 

“On the whole, StarTimes currently has 10 million subscribers across these countries,’’ he said.

 

The organisation’s public relations director said that StarTimes had been selected for the Access to the Satellite TV for the 10,000 African Villages’ project.

 

He said that the company was prepared to assist the Federal Government of Nigerian in achieving its ongoing digitalization programme.

 

William, who also announced the company’s plans to soon embark on knowledge transfer to young Nigerians, added that about 80 per cent of its employees were Nigerians.

 

The company’s spokesperson also said that StarTimes was looking for a suitable place in Nigeria to establish its factory like it had done in Kenya and other countries.

 

“As soon as we are able to secure location rights, we will definitely establish our factory in Nigeria, because Nigeria is our big market.

 

“With a global vision, StarTimes began to expand its services to Africa in 2002 and has been working closely with African governments in promoting digitalization and information.

 

“StarTimes has introduced more than 480 quality international channels, most popular African channels and Chinese mainstream media channels.

 

“These programmes are broadcast in nearly ten languages, including English, French, Portuguese, Chinese, Swahili, Hausa Yoruba and others,’’ he said.

 

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DSO Under South African Attack

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By George Dishpat

Considering the many tales of the unexpected emerging from the ongoing face off between the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) and the ICPC, it is tempting to believe that there is more than meets the eyes behind the peculiar situation.

 

It is unusual for the ICPC to be engulfed in a face-off with a government agency it is investigating to the extent that has manifested thus far, especially when it is the ICPC that has been boxed into a corner of silent response to public criticism and ridicule of the purported findings of its supposed investigations into the affairs of NBC concerning the Digital Switch Over (DSO).

 

What really is going on ?

 

There is no doubt that ICPC goofed by issuing a press release that was supposed to blow its trumpet on investigations into the payment of N2.5 billion to Pinnacle Communications Limited, the licensed private national signal distributor for the DSO project, which it made the world to believe was fraudulent.

 

Instead, the world was left believing that the ICPC investigation was fraudulent if it did not even know the correct name of the subject of its probe (NBC), if it could come out stating that the DSO was about telephone lines and if it had no idea about the five year existing status of Pinnacle Communications Limited as licensed signal distributor in the DSO project, for which it provided the platform for the national launch in December 2016 and later broadcast centers in Abuja and Kaduna.

 

Surprisingly however, not withstanding these discrediting blunders, the ICPC which claimed to have obtained statements from executives of NBC and Pinnacle Communications Limited had gone ahead to freeze accounts of Pinnacle Communications Limited. A Federal High Court in Abuja lifted the freeze order and berated the ICPC for unjustified action. It has now been confirmed that the ICPC misadventure was based entirely on the prodding of George Uboh Whistle Blower Network and its November 2018 petition against Information Minister, Lai Mohammed, DG NBC Ishaq Modibbo Kawu and Chairman Pinnacle Communications Limited, Sir Lucky Omoluwa “on the N10 billion FGN released in 2016 for the DSO program”.

 

Interestingly, the petition had erroneous references  similar to those in the ICPC press release such as stating that the DSO was “aimed at migrating Nigeria’s communication from analogue to digital platforms”, that Pinnacle Communications Limited was not qualified for the payment but “approved by Modibbo Kawu” and that “the entire job for the N2.5 billion has not been executed.”

 

For the avoidance of doubt, George Uboh has taken to the social media as a lone voice commending the ICPC for “initiating prosecution against the Director-General of National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC), Ish’aq Kawu Modibbo and Chairman of Pinnacle Communications, Mr. Lucky Omoluwa” and taking responsibility for the petition which he also sent to the National Assembly. Curiously however, both Uboh and the ICPC dropped reference to Information Minister Lai Mohammed even though he is supervising minister who closely monitored and participated in major events of the DSO project.

 

But the NBC and the DSO had earlier been targeted more directly in the process of which the mask came off and the cause of the enemy action that has trailed the implementation of the project since 2014, leading to two postponements and protracted litigations against subterranean schemes to pirate licenses paid and issued, was no longer in doubt.

 

What began as a bill to amend the NBC Act  “to strengthen the commission and make it more effective to regulate broadcasting in Nigeria, and to ensure that all television and cable services run education programs in line with school sylabi and curricula” at the National Assembly dramatically took on a sinister unpatriotic foreign-powered dimension when it was discovered that two anti-DSO sections were surreptitiously smuggled into the amendment bill.

 

The smuggled sections would have technically dismantled the DSO’s basic components, especially the exclusive role of signal distributors and use of single frequency transmissions for the ulterior objective of permitting MULTICHOICE/GOTV South African cable entertainment television monopoly cartel to continue their own independent transmissions without having to be routed through DSO signal distributors.

 

It should be noted that current licenses of the South African cartel for terrestrial transmissions had already been barred from renewal by the NBC, leaving them with no option than to comply with the DSO programme stipulations or shut down.

 

As a result the South Africans who have also stoutly resisted measures by the Consumer Protection Council to check their profiteering and discriminatory policies protested by Nigerian customers, resorted to “any means necessary” to thwart the NBC’s insistence on strict compliance with DSO regulations.

 

They even paid unsolicited funds into NBC account in a bid to circumvent the expiry of their licenses from June this year, but NBC promptly reversed the payment just as the attendance of the dubious NBC amendment hearings by a high-powered team of Multichoice mandarins raised eyebrows about their links to the anti-DSO sections hidden in the bill.

 

Mercifully, President Buhari firmly and commendably withheld assent and sent the NBC Amendment Bill back to the legislature pointing out that the two offending sections ousted some of the NBC’s vital powers.

 

Obviously then, it is the continued smooth and systematic implementation of the DSO by NBC and Pinnacle Communications Limited that is the real target of the series of master-minded threats being witnessed while the vicious pursuit of unbridled profiteering and consumer-hostile policies of the South African cartel is the hidden agenda.

 

Already there has been no progress in the expansion of the coverage of the DSO as originally envisaged since the cartel began plotting to circumvent the DSO regulations by seeking to destabilize the NBC and paralyze Pinnacle Communications Limited.

 

The DSO must not be scuttled yet again and the need for the Buhari Administration to protect one of its major pace-setting achievements from espionage and sabotage is urgent and paramount.

George Disphat, Policy Analyst in Jos

 

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