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FG Pledges Commitment to June 2017 Deadline for Digital Switch Over

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President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday inaugurated the Abuja Digital Switch-over from analogue broadcasting, with a commitment that the Federal Government would meet the June 2017 deadline for the exercise in West Africa.

The inauguration would provide 33 digital channels to television viewers, easy access to public and private sector information as well as new programming and current affairs.

Represented by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the event Buhari appealed to the 36 states and FCT as well as the 774 local government areas in the country to embrace the programme in order to create jobs for the youth.

“Let me state for emphasis that this government is irreversibly committed to meeting the June 2017 deadline for the switch over in the West African sub-region and also to the roll out of the digital switch over in all the states of the federation.

“I appeal to all states and local governments to be actively involved in the project because of the obvious advantages to our people.’’

Buhari recalled the advent of television broadcasting from black and white, which was the ultimate then, to colour TV, but added that digitisation had moved viewing from mere video to crispy and real life presentations.

According to him, no one knows that video and audio can get so closer to real life until the digital revolution and later high definition television.

 He noted that technology had transformed the lives of many, adding that more doors would be opened by digital transmission in the country.

“First is that it will liberalise access to and increase the versatility of media information, interactive programming; two-way data exchanges mobile reception, internet and multi -media data will open up.

“The opportunities that this will provide are only limited by the imagination, advertising, formal education, sales and marketing are obvious low hanging fruits,’’ he said.

The President noted that Nigerian artistes and entrepreneurs in music, entertainment and film making would be important pillars in the administration’s diversification plans.

“Digitisation will create jobs in the area of content and software development, provide platforms for film producers and musicians to release their productions directly to households. “This would of cause substantially cut of piracy,’’ he added.

The President expressed happiness that the set boxes being deployed for the switch over were manufactured in the country just as the signal distributor was a wholly owned Nigerian company. He said that strong partnership with the private sector was a defining factor of the administration’s economic plan.

“This is as it should be,’’ he declared. He described the inauguration as historic, noting that its significance could not be lost in the world as the digital switch over had become a reality in the capital city of Africa’s largest economy and its most populous nation.

“Even if only for the huge local and international opportunities for the broadcast media, ICT, entertainment and education, we all right to say that we stand at a threshold of very exciting times.

“The times are for job creation, entertainment and in general local and international commerce,’’ he stated.

Buhari recalled that the successful launch of the pilot scheme in Jos in April clearly demonstrated the gains of the digital switch over as the viewers could enjoy 15 free channels covering news, sports, music and business.

He also observed that local industries were already experiencing a boost from the new vista in the digital economy with many indigenous firms manufacturing set-up boxes.

Nigeria CommunicationsWeek believes that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. So since 2007, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and how they affect lives.

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Nigerians Ask NBC to Compel TSTV to Come Clean

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Some Nigerians have asked National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), to compel the management of new pay-television, TSTV, to come clean on its business plan for the country.

 

Daily Post reported ever since the TSTV announced its arrival and November 1 take-off date, there has been controversies surrounding its operations, despite earlier excitement about the arrival of the company.

 

It could be re-called that TSTV’s launch was grand, raising a lot of expectations.

 

However, the first major controversy came calling as FOX Network Group (FNG), owners of the FOX television channels, was reported to have denied that it has any agreement with the new pay-television service provider, TSTV, to carry its channels in Nigeria.

 

The position of FNG was made known in a statement signed by Jeremy Griesel of Jeremy Griesel Communications on behalf of FOX Network Group Africa, TSTV’s advertisement of FOX channels on its platform is inappropriate.

 

“Despite advertised claims regarding FOX channels, FOX does not have any agreement with TSTV regarding distribution of channels, but remains confident that TSTV will normalise the situation prior to the launch of its service to ensure the consistency between platform content claims and subscriber expectation,” FOX had said.

 

Following these developments, some concerned Nigerians have asked the company to come clean on its plan for the masses.

 

One of the concerned Nigerians stated that: “The new pay-television provider has been forced to move the commencement of its commercial operations to November 1, a whole month after it promised to roll out. Sales of its hardware also appear to have been suspended. This calls for question.

 

“These developments have no doubt left Nigerians in a doubt on whether the TSTV was indeed prepared to provide the needed competition in the Nigerian market.

 

“In a September 25 post on TSTV’s Facebook page, the company, responding to a question said it will broadcast the English Premier League, Spanish La Liga and UEFA Champions League. But when asked about the frequency and the percentage of league games to be shown, no response was issued.

 

“A writer on the TStv Facebook page had called the attention of others to the fact redistribution of sport content is jurisdictional. beIN Max, one of the range of channels being offered airs foreign league matches in the Middle East and North Africa to Arabic-speaking audiences. The company pretended not to see it.

 

“As it stands, it appear that TSTV is trying to get in its excuses early in anticipation of failure to meet the stratospheric expectations it has created. It looks like a victim of its own success at failure.

 

Similarly, another Nigerian, Festus Igeniwari, said: “I maintain that the PayTV industry in Nigeria is a level-playing field for everyone serious and capable enough to offer Nigerians the best value for money in world-class content.

 

“First of all, it is important Nigerians realize that – as a rule – you don’t start off a marathon by sprinting; and when a claim sounds too good to be true, it usually is.

 

“So, we are calling on the Nigeria Broadcasting Commission, to as a matter of urgency, tell Nigerians what they need to know as far as the TSTV if concerned. Let Nigerians know exactly what they have come to offer.

 

“There is a lot of confusion and we should not wait until things get too late before the right thing is done. “

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Gov. Ikpeazu Dangles Film Makers with N10m to Shot Films in Abia

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As part of the efforts to develop tourism sites and promote tourism potential in Abia, the state Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, has pledged N10 million as grant for any film shot in the state. Ikpeazu made the pledge when he received Dr. Chidia Maduekwe, the Managing Director, Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC), in his office in Umuahia.

A statement signed by Mr. Brian Etuk, Head of Public Affairs, NFC, in Jos on Friday, quoted the governor as saying that the production `should be 100 per cent shot in Abia.’

The statement said the governor charged film practitioners to improve on the quality of their production so as to compete with the global market. It stated that Ikpeazu promised that his administration would participate in the capacity building offered by NFC, saying that Abia played a key role in the revolution of the market and sales of Nollywood movies which has had multiplier effects on the nation economy.

“We have a policy to open up our market to genuine investors, private and public agencies amongst others through promoting `Make in Abia` instead of Made in Abia, proliferating more industries in the state,’’ the statement quoted Ikpeazu.

The statement said, Maduekwe had commended the governor for approving office accommodation for the organisation’s South-East Zonal office in the state.

It noted that Maduekwe said the gesture would create more employment opportunities for the youths, saying that corporation was also working toward establishing two more zonal offices in the North-East and South-South.

NFC currently has three zonal offices in Lagos, Kano and Abuja with headquarters in Jos, Plateau State.

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Ikorodu Agog for Glo Mega Music Tour this Weekend

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The ancient city of Ikorodu in Lagos is agog already as the Glo Mega Music Nationwide Tour gets set to hit the city today.

It is the 27th edition of the 27 week-long mega concert that has gone round some of Nigeria’s major cities such as Awka in Anambra State, Aba, Calabar, Asaba, Benin, Victoria Island, Ajah, Ikeja, Benin, Port Harcourt, Owerri, Ekpoma, Enugu, Kubwa, Abuja, Suleja, Makurdi, Lokoja, Anyigba, Port Harcourt and Ibadan, where the show was held twice each, Akure, Abeokuta and Ijebu Ode.

The Ikorodu edition is billed to hold at the Ikorodu Musical Village at 4.00 p.m., and will feature some of Nigeria’s most interesting musicians such as the new hip-hop sensation, Axterix, Marvin records queen, Di’Ja, scintillating vocalist, Kiss Daniel, the Nabania crooner, Flavour, the Egberi Papa 1 of Bayelsa, Timaya, and the Nigerian king of pop, Tuface.

Globacom said that in addition to the A-List artistes billed to perform at the concert, the show will also be graced by Nollywood greats such as Juliet Ibrahim and Uche Jombo, who will compere the show, Patience Ozokwor, a.k.a. Mama G, Kanayo O. Kanayo (KOK) and Richard Mofe-Damijo (RMD) who will be there as celebrity guests.

It is the fifth of such shows happening in Lagos in the current tour of the show. Globacom said this underscores the importance it attaches to Lagos.

Subscribers willing to attend the show need to have recharged their phones with a minimum of N2,000 in the last one month either by way of voice calls or data usage. They then need to send a text message “MUSIC IKORODU”  to a short code 207. They will subsequently be sent a message inviting them to attend the show.

Those who do not meet the criterion are requested to visit the venue with N2000 to purchase Glo recharge card that will entitle them to enter the hall.

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