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Quit Notice: DStv, Gotv Fight to Remain in Nigeria

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MultiChoice has released a statement concerning reports that DSTV and GOtv will shut down in 2019; pointing it is doing all to ensure its operating licences are renewed by the broadcasting agency in Nigeria, according to Pulse.

 

Federal government recently notified the management of MultiChoice DSTV/GOTV that their operations, in Nigeria, will come to an end in 2019 as their license expires June next year.

According to a letter to that effect by the National Broadcasting Corporation(NBC), the license issued to them in 2014 by NBC will not be renewed because it was not in line with Digital Switch Over (DSO) White Paper.

 

Modibo Ishaq Kawu, director general, National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC), recently disclosed that all paid DTT operators including DSTV, GOTV and Star Times will be shut down by June 2019 unless they begin discussions with the two signal distributors, ITS and Pinnacle.

The license issued to MultiChoice in 2014 is not reportedly in line with the Digital Switch Over (DSO) White Paper and that’s why it wouldn’t be renewed.

 

Pulse reported MultiChoice as saying it complies with the regulatory requirements and applicable laws on TV broadcasting.

 

“GOtv is provided under a fully licenced and registered entity in Nigeria, and this license comes up for renewal in March 2019″ the statement read.

 

“As a law-abiding and committed Nigerian operator which has fulfilled (and continues to comply with) all regulatory requirements and applicable laws, it is not clear how or why this license would not be renewed, and as such the company will investigate further in the best interests of the many customers it serves in the market” it further said.

 

The statement added that “MultiChoice remains committed to providing its customers with a wide variety of quality entertainment through the usual best standards.”

 

The Digital Switch Over (DSO) White Paper is a policy, regulatory framework and a broadcasting model for the migration process from analogue TV broadcasting to digital TV broadcasting.

 

It was created in 2009 by a Presidential Advisory Committee to smoothen the transition from analogue to digital. The committee was created because Nigeria had signed an international and regional agreement to conclude the digital switchover by June 17, 2012.

 

MultiChoice entered into the Nigerian space in 1994. In 1995 it launched DSTV (Digital Satellite Television), a direct broadcast satellite service for the Sub-Saharan African market.

 

In 2011 MultiChoice launched the GOtv digital platform, a pay television offering on digital terrestrial television (DTT).

 

 

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Broadcasting

StarTimes Boosts Nigerian Economy with $220m Investment, Pays $25m Tax

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StarTimes, a direct-to-home pay-tv service said it has invested over $220 million in Nigeria, in the last eight years to boost entertainment and enrich the country’s television viewers’ experiences.

 

Mr. Joshua Wang, who represented the CEO of NTA-STAR TV, said Startimes commenced operation in 2010 in Nigeria through NTA-Star TV, adding that it has actively promoted leading Chinese programmes in local languages, like Hausa and Yoruba.

 

Wang, a director of the organisation, stated this in Abuja at the celebration of Chinese Film Festival and cinema show of the “Operation Red Sea Movie”.

 

He said, “So far, we have invested $220m in Nigeria, developed a network of nearly 3,000 distributors in the country, and developed around four million subscribers. We are actively involved in corporate social responsibility and have paid a total of $25m in tax, recruited more than 1,300 local staff, 97 per cent of whom are Nigerians.”

 

Alhaji Lai Mohammed, minister of Information and Culture, represented by Grace Isu Gekpe, permanent secretary, said, “Cultures are what make countries unique. I believe we will understand each other’s culture better if we have the opportunity to watch movies from both cultures.”

 

Mr. Lin Jing, Charge d’affair of the Chinese Embassy to Nigeria pledged that the Chinese Government is committed to the agreements reached with Nigeria and other African countries to bring rapid development to the continent.

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NCC Reaffirms Suspension of COSON’s Operating License

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Mr. Afam Ezekude, director general of the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC), has reaffirmed to stakeholders and the general public that the Operating License of the Copyright Society of Nigeria (Ltd/Gte) (COSON) is and remains suspended until further notice.

Mr. Afam Ezekude disclosed this while responding to recent social media publications made by COSON claiming that the Federal High Court had ordered the NCC to suspend all actions, proceedings and processes relating to the suspension of its license and the freezing of its bank account.

He stressed that the commission has not been served with any order of the Federal High Court as regards the suspension of the operating license of COSON, and is not aware of any such order.

The DG noted that the said publication did not disclose the particulars of the case in which the Order was made such as, the suit number of the case; the Judge of the Federal High Court that made the order nor the date that the order was made and therefore urged stakeholders and the general public to disregard COSON’s claims.

Speaking further, Mr. Ezekude disclosed that following the suspension of COSON’s operating license by the Commission in April 2018, some members of COSON instituted an action in suit No.FHC/EN/CS/58/2018 at Enugu division of the Federal High Court against the Commission and some of its officials challenging the suspension of the operating license of COSON.

In a preliminary objection to the suit filed by the Commission, the court presided over by Justice Liman struck out the Commission as a party in that case on June 11, 2018. No order was made against the Commission.

Similarly, a case was instituted by some members of COSON purporting to act on behalf of the society in suit No. FHC/L/CS/6006/18 (Copyright Society of Nigeria & Ors Vs Efe Omoregbe & 7 Ors) at the Lagos division of the Federal High Court with the Commission listed as a defendant in the case.

The matter which is currently pending before Justice Seidu has been adjourned to September 26, 2018. No order has so far been made against the Commission in that case.

By virtue of the suspension which is still in force, the DG, reiterates that COSON is not entitled to carry out any functions of a Collecting Society; to wit; soliciting, negotiating for copyright license; or collecting royalties for and on behalf of owners of Copyright in Music and Sound Recordings; until otherwise determined.

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Again, Court Rules Against Multichoice Over Tariff Hike

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A judge, Nnamdi Dimgba, in Abuja has rejected an appeal by Multichoice Nigeria against an interim order prohibiting any increase in its DStv or GOtv subscription rates.

Multichoice Nigeria had on August 24 filed an appeal against the order of the Federal High Court, Abuja stopping it from increasing the subscription rates to its cable television services. The order was given on August 20.

The restraining order was issued in respect of Suit No FHC/ABJ/CS/894/18 brought before the court by the Consumer Protection Council (CPC) in the light of the public outcry raised.

In his order, Mr Dimgba said the interim injunction restrains Multichoice Nigeria or its agents and representatives from “continuing the implementation of any increase in subscription rates or price review policy imposing increased charges and costs on the consumers pending the determination of the motion on notice.”

Besides, the court also restrained DSTV from “further carrying on or continuing any conduct or activity which interferes with or has effect of circumventing the outcome of ongoing investigations by the CPC into the company’s compliance or non-compliance with the February 16, 2016 order pending the determination of the motion on notice”.

When the appeal was made, the CPC explained that the order stopping implementation of the new tariffs will subsist till the appeal has been heard and ruling given by the court.

This means that the subscription tariffs for Dstv and Gotv ought not to have increased but consumers have been paying the increased tariffs since August.

Under the new price regime, the company said the Premium package subscribers pay about 7.5 per cent more (about N15,800) from about N14,700 every month.

Also, their Compact Plus customers still pay N10,650, from N9,900; Compact bouquets, N6,800, from N6,300, while the family package was increased from N3,800 to N4,000, with Access from N1,900 to N2,000

On Monday, during the court hearing, the judge also refused the application by MultiChoice to adjourn the matter indefinitely.

When asked of the measures taken to ensure Multichoice’s compliance, Babatunde Irukera, director general, CPC, said CPC still holds the position that consumers should be paying the old tariff.

“However, the council’s understanding is that Multichoice is not complying with that order of court so that’s why it was important for the court to agree to clarify the situation,” he said.

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