It is no longer business as usual for foreign broadcasters that monopolise or engaged in anti-competitive practices against local players, as the Federal Government introduced new broadcast media regulation. This was made known by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed.
The new regulation was proposed by a committee set up to look into the broadcast media operations in Nigeria. The report by the committee is expected to reposition the broadcast business, not excluding producers and content creators.
“Following my satisfaction with the report, which was very professional and detailed, I wish to direct the Commission to take the necessary measures to effect the implementation of the various provisions therein.
“This directive covers the provision for the regulation of the web and online TV/radio; regulation of international broadcasters beaming signals into Nigeria; hate speech; human resource and staff welfare; funding for the reforms implementation; monitoring; Independence of the Regulator and ease of issuing Licenses as well as competition and monopoly issues.
“This regulation prevents the misuse of monopoly or market power or anti-competitive and unfair practices by a foreign or local broadcaster to suppress other local broadcasters in the television and radio markets, having removed exclusivity from all content in Nigeria and mandated the sharing of all content upon the payment of commercially viable fees.”
What does this mean? This is to ensure broadcast media meet the regulatory requirements for 70% local content. When implemented, content providers, producers will be rewarded for their contribution to the broadcast media. Producers of content will be paid promptly for adverts and sponsored content placed on all TV, radio and broadcast platforms.
This, the government believes will encourage investors to fund content and support media business within the country.
It would also enable foreign collaborations, develop the local industry, raise the standard of local productions and ultimately lead to job creation. Also, artists (musicians) will earn the right royalty to their works.
But the new regulation did not clearly state if it would affect companies like Dstv that have exclusive rights to broadcast foreign content like different sports. It is alleged that such rights and other barriers had forced other competitors like Hitv, Kwese TV, TiTv, and MyTV among others.
In all, the Minister had directed the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to implement the measures that will reflect these recommendations immediately.