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FG Assures BON of Commitment to Digital Switch Over



Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture, yesterday reassured that Digital Switch Over (DSO), the process of transition from analogue to digital television broadcasting  was on course.

The minister gave the reassurance when he received officials of the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON) led by its Chairman, Mr John Momoh in his office in Abuja.

Addressing newsmen after a closed door session with the delegation, the minister said that government would carry all stakeholders along to ensure a successful transition.

“The meeting discussed the overall survival of the industry and the good thing about it is that we have all agreed to work together.

“We also agreed that none of the concerns raised by stakeholders are insurmountable with the cooperation of all.

“We resolved that the DSO is on course and the cheery news is that BON has agreed to give its contributions and ideas that will ensure a successful switch over,’’ he said.

The minister said the meeting also deliberated on other issues affecting the broadcast industry including, audience measurement, licensing regime, industry debt issue plan and FM Radio transmitter power and coverage area.

Momoh, who was also at the briefing, said that the meeting afforded members of his organisation the opportunity to let the minister and other stakeholders understand the challenges inhibiting their operations.

Momoh, who is the Chairman of Channels Television, said BON members were also briefed on what government was doing on DSO.

“We have a better picture of the DSO and we also have the agreement to work together for the success of the transition.

“We are leaving here happy and we believe it is a work in progress. We are confident that at the end of the day, we will have a successful DSO and an industry that is thriving,’’ he said.

Speaking in the same vein, Modibbo Kawu, Director-General of National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), said the commission would work with relevant stakeholders including BON.

He stressed that his commission’s relation with BON was central to the success of DSO.

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NFVCB says Nigerian Movie Industry Needs at Least 774 Cinemas



Mr Adedayo Thomas, the Executive Director, National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) yesterday said Nigerian movie industry needs at least 774 cinemas across the country for it to tackle the menace of piracy.

Thomas said this at a meeting with members of NFVCB branch of Radio Television and Theatre Art Workers Union (RATTAWU) in Abuja.

According to him, establishing at least one cinema in every local government in Nigeria will serve as antidote against survival of unwholesome films and video works in the growing movie industry.

He added that “we have 774 local governments in Nigeria, and having cinemas in each area means that genuine and approved films will be easily accessed by Nigerians, thereby minimising the survival of pirated films.

He, however, reiterated the board’s determination to sanitise the industry of uncensored and unclassified films and video works.

He noted that the creative industry was acclaimed to have contributed 1.4 per cent to Nigeria’’s GDP and could do more for owners, producers and distributors of films and video works to get value from their investment.

He said “if the sector was in a mess, investors would not come, hence the need

for us to keep on delivering on our mandate and clean the market for the film owners to enjoy the rewards for their works.”

Thomas noted that the board had in recent times raided major markets and outlets in the country and suspects arrested were already charged to court in accordance with the enabling laws of the board.

The NFVCB boss attributed the successes recorded by the board under his watch to cooperation and hard work of its members of staff, especially Enforcement Task Force.

He explained that as regulatory agency, the board was expected to provide intelligence and assist in market surveillance and monitoring toward boosting enforcement operations.

He, however, lamented that paucity of funds was hindering plans and programmes of the board.

The Chairman of RATTAWU, Mr Jack Okoko, who spoke on behalf of the staff, commended Thomas “for your passion and commitment toward repositioning the board.”

He then appealed to him and the board’s management to “prioritise staff welfare to enhance productivity.”

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Subscribers to Enjoy Free Upgrade on Startimes Bouquets



StarTimes, pay tv company in the spirit of the upcoming Easter celebration, is offering a free upgrade on all its bouquets for subscribers on the antenna and Dish platform, which started from March15 to April 30, 2018.


According to the company, the promo is to create awareness for content on higher bouquets during and after the Easter holiday.


Explaining further, Qasim Elegbede, brand & marketing director at StarTimes, said:  “The promo is designed for all our subscribers to enjoy. When you pay for one month on Nova bouquet which is N900, you get to enjoy all Basic bouquet channels free for two weeks.


Subscribers who pay N1,300 for one month on the Basic bouquet will get to enjoy all Classic bouquet channels free for another two weeks and customers who pay one month on the Classic and Unique bouquet would get an extra week free of charge.”


Also commenting, Kunmi Balogun, the company’s Public Relations manager, said this is one of the many ways StarTimes gives back to its’ esteemed subscribers.


He enjoined subscribers to take advantage of the promo, noting that this was an opportunity to see the channels on a higher bouquet for the same subscription price.


According to him, “When you pay one month on Nova bouquet at N900, all the channels on Smart bouquet will be open for free viewing for two weeks. Subscribers on Smart Bouquet who pay N1,900 subscription fee for a month also gets to enjoy all Super bouquet channels free for two weeks.”


He added that one month subscription of N3,800 on Super Bouquet however, gives access to one extra week free.


StarTimes is the leading digital TV operator in Africa, serving nearly 10 million subscribers with a signal covering the whole continent and a massive distribution network of 200 brand halls, 3,000 convenience stores and 5,000 distributors.


The company also owns a featured content platform, with 480 authorised channels consisting of news, movies, series, sports, entertainment, children’s programs.


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Demand for AR/VR Headsets Expected to Rebound in 2018, Says IDC



International Data Corporation (IDC) Augmented and Virtual Reality Headset Tracker shows that Worldwide shipments for augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) headsets will grow to 68.9 million units in 2022 with a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 52.5%, according to the latest forecast from the


Despite the weakness the market experienced in 2017, IDC anticipates a return to growth in 2018 with total combined AR/VR volumes reaching 12.4 million units, marking a year-over-year increase of 48.5% as new vendors, new use cases, and new business models emerge.

The worldwide AR/VR headset market retreated in 2017 primarily due to a decline in shipments of screenless VR viewers.

Previous champions of this form factor stopped bundling these headsets with smartphones and consumers have shown little interest in purchasing such headsets separately.

While the screenless VR category is waning, Lenovo’s successful fourth quarter launch of the Jedi Challenges Mirage headset—a screenless viewer for AR—showed the form factor may still have legs if paired with the right content.

Other new product launches during the quarter included the first Windows Mixed Reality VR tethered headsets with entries from Acer, ASUS, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, Lenovo, and Samsung.

Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst for IDC Mobile Device Trackers, said “There has been a maturation of content and delivery as top-tier content providers enter the AR and VR space,”

“Meanwhile, on the hardware side, numerous vendors are experimenting with new financing options and different revenue models to make the headsets, along with the accompanying hardware and software, more accessible to consumers and enterprises alike.”

Looking ahead, IDC also expects the VR headset market to rebound in 2018 as new devices such as Facebook’s Oculus Go, HTC’s Vive Pro, and Lenovo’s Mirage Solo ship into the market with new capabilities and new price points.

Meanwhile, with the exception of screenless viewers, AR headsets are likely to remain largely commercially focused until later in the forecast due to the technology’s high cost and complexity.

Tom Mainelli, program vice president, Devices & AR/VR research, said “While there’s no doubt that VR suffered some setbacks in 2017, companies such as Google and Facebook continue to push hard toward making the technology more consumer friendly,”

“Meanwhile, Lenovo’s success with its first consumer-focused AR product shows that consumers are beginning to understand what augmented reality is and the experiences it can provide. This bodes well for the category long term.”

Category Highlights shows that Augmented Reality head-mounted displays will see market-beating growth over the next five years as standalone and tethered devices grow to account for more than 97% of the market by 2022.

IDC expects AR screenless viewers, the overall market leader in 2017, to peak in 2019 as standalone and tethered products become more widely available at lower price points.

The rise of screenless viewers geared toward consumers tilted shipment volumes away from commercial viewers in 2017 and that’s likely to continue in 2018; by 2019 the segment will shift back toward more commercial shipments.

Virtual Reality head-mounted displays will see a shift in product mix. Screenless viewers, once the overall leader, will see share erode quickly over time.

Meanwhile, standalone and tethered devices – in the minority in 2017 – will comprise 85.7% of total shipments by 2022.

Consumers will account for a majority of headset shipments throughout the forecast, but commercial users will slowly occupy a larger share, growing to nearly equal status in 2022.




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