Engage Creative Talents, Promote Local Content

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The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has urged operators of SLTV, an indigenous Nigerian satellite pay television, to use the platform to engage creative talents that abound in the country and ensure the promotion of local contents.

Secretary to the Commission, Franca Aiyetan, made the call in an interview with journalists on the sideline of a meeting between Dr Ifeanyi Nwafor, Managing Director, Metrodigital Limited, operator of SLTV, alongside his team, and management of NBC, at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja.

 

The parley was for the SLTV operators to brief the regulatory agency on its content offerings and innovations, and as well its efforts in ensuring quality and affordable service delivery to subscribers.

 

According to Aiyetan, the Nigeria Broadcasting Code provides that pay subscription broadcasters should ensure a minimum 20 per cent local content, consisting of 15 per cent Nigerian and five per cent African, in its bouquet.

 

“As a regulator, NBC has a policy in place to encourage local content at every level, particularly 20% minimum for pay televisions, and 60% minimum for local terrestrial stations,” Aiyetan stated.

She added that, “Initially industry players, especially the pay TV, felt they did not have enough quality content to fill that space, but we encourage them to try to develop the local creative industry get enough quality content.

“Today we are proud to say that has come to stay, and we are also throwing the challenge to SLTV to try to create their own local content by engaging our creative talents and give them a platform and wings to fly.

“We are glad that they are starting with at least 11 local channels dedicated to local contents, which has already given them the 20% that is required, and we encourage them to do more because all over the world, Nigerian content sells.

“We also want to challenge them to use the opportunity to tell the Nigerian story very well because there could be another side of the story. Nigerians are very resilient people, we are very hardworking people, our land is rich and all these could be packaged into local content that will sell all over the world.”

Earlier in his remark, Mr Charles Ebuebu, Director General of NBC, assured of equal opportunities for all players in the broadcast industry to ensure robust competition.

According to him, part of the NBC mandate as a regulator is to encourage competition in the broadcast sector that brings innovation, allows local players to thrive and to build an economy around the broadcast sector.

 

“So we are very excited to have SLTV come in as a player in that space with its innovation, and in compliance with the rules of the NBC, we will definitely support them in the effort to bring new innovation as a local player in that space.

 

“What the NBC can do and will do is to establish a level playing field for all players, there is not going to be discrimination, where you have a major player with different rules.

 

“We are going to put a level playing field so that price will come to play, and whatever features you bring will be an edge for competition rather than a dominant position,” he said.

 

The Metrodigital helmsman, Nwafor, in his response, expressed appreciation to NBC for opening space for other players to come into the industry, which was fostering competition and innovation.

 

“I have to thank the Federal Government and NBC for the effort they made over the last few years to put regulations in place to end the monopolistic practices of the dominant players.”

 

He added that, “It is based on those amendments and those new regulations that we are able to emerge and have a chance to play in this industry.”

 

He explained that as part of its commitment to local content, 11 channels out of the 54 on SLTV were dedicated to local contents, which satisfies the 20 percent local content requirement by the law..

 

According to him, SLTV has 54HD channels with several sport channels that show live football matches from the Premier League, Champions League, Laliga, Seria A, and UEL among others, with a monthly subscription ranging from N2,5000 and N5,000.

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