" ITREALMS: NBC tackles anti-competitive practices in Nigeria

Monday, May 04, 2015

NBC tackles anti-competitive practices in Nigeria

The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has expressed its readiness to tackle the long anti-competition within the Nigerian television market space, reports ITRealms.

NBC, ITRealms gathered recently invited an international team of TV market consultants to undertake an economic baseline study of the sector.

Specifically, NBC hinted ITRealms that the consultants would undertake  a review of current market structures to see if there are any restrictions to content, including premium rights and events, and whether such restrictions hinders the emergence of new services, and  platforms, and their ability to compete effectively. 

Also, the consultants would assess other issues such as market dominance, network, programme access rules and content exclusivity; impact of the advertising market on broadcast revenue and operations; with particular attention to revenue returns for broadcast stations. 

In addition they would examine whether any current market conduct adversely affects revenue for broadcasting stations in Nigeria. This is of vital importance because the economic survival of the broadcasting market depends on the operation of the advertising market.

A press statement made available to ITRealms further stated that NBC is set to institute a team of local and foreign experts to examine the role of foreign sports broadcasting property rights, such as football rights on the cost of pay television in Nigeria as against the development of our local leagues, and its impact on the cost of pay television in Nigeria. The committee which shall be formally constituted soon shall work to reduce the possible impact of such rights on the cost of our local TV rates. 

A reliable source inside the Commission informed us that in order to adequately deal with some of the issues which has arisen from both the digital transition and the competition issues within the Nigerian broadcasting market, the National Broadcasting Commission recently set up the DigiGroup Contact Team made up of broadcasters, signal distributors, set top box manufacturers, legal and technology experts.

Recently, there was a court action against Multichoice Nigeria Limited (DSTV) on the indiscriminate increase in their subscription fees. It is unfortunate that the Nigerian pay-tv market is under the stranglehold of DSTV due to its early entry into the broadcast market and its already established dominance in South Africa.

 DSTV has a wide range of exclusive pay-tv rights (satellite and terrestrial) for the wholesale supply of premium channels, such as M-NET, the Super Sport channels, KTV, MTV, CNN, Discovery, National Geographic Channel, etc. It is currently the only supplier of premium sports (English Premier League, UEFA Champions League, Europa League, prime Tennis tournaments and Basketball leagues etc.)

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