The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has directed MultiChoice to sublicense some of its channels to an indigenous digital broadcasting firm, Metro-Digital Limited, effectively ending years of digital broadcasting monopoly.
NBC stated in a letter dated October 25, 2022, and addressed to the Chief Executive Officer of MultiChoice that the directive was based on the provisions of the NBC Code as amended.
The letter, signed on behalf of the NBC Director-General by the Commission’s Head of Legal, George Obi, states in part: “You are hereby directed to comply with the 6th edition of the NBC Code as amended under Metro-request Digital’s for channel sublicensing as ordered by the Federal Court of Appeal.”
Dr Ifeanyi Nwafor, Managing Director of Metro-Digital, told journalists in Port Harcourt on Monday that the NBC had finally complied with the Court of Appeal judgment of July 13, 2022.
Nwafor also thanked the federal government, particularly the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, and NBC, for their contributions to repositioning the broadcast industry and ending monopolistic practices that had long held it back.
“We are pleased to announce today that NBC has complied with the Court’s order,” he said. The end of monopoly in Nigeria’s broadcasting industry will boost competition, innovation, and service delivery quality.
“The industry will experience rapid growth, and consumers will benefit from the resulting competitive pricing.”
Nwafor, who stated that the company laid off over 50 workers during its three-year legal battle with Multichoice, stated that the firm plans to begin operations by the third week of November.
According to the NBC code, the NBC directive is binding, and if MultiChoice fails to comply, the penalty is a license suspension.”