National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) appears set to tackle the long standing issue of competition within the Nigerian TV market with the recent invitation of international team of TV market consultants to undertake an economic baseline study of the sector.
The consultants according to a reliable source at the commission, are specifically 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.
They will assess other issues such as: Market dominance, network, program access rules and content exclusivity; impact of the advertising market on broadcast revenue and operations; with particular attention to revenue returns for broadcast stations.
They will also examine whether any current market conduct adversely affects revenue for broadcasting stations in Nigeria, which is crucial because the economic survival of the broadcasting market depends on the operation of the advertising market.
However, the commission 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.
The source further disclosed 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 Commission recently set up the DigiGroup Contact Team made up of broadcasters, signal distributors, set top box manufacturers, legal and technology experts.
It will be recalled that recently, there was a court action against Multichoice Nigeria Limited (DSTV) on the indiscriminate increase in their subscription fees.
Multichoice Nigeria Limited, which has already established dominance in South Africa, brought the Nigerian pay-tv market under the stranglehold as an early entry into the broadcast market.
Currently, 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, among others.
It is also the only supplier of premium sports (English Premier League, UEFA Champions League, Europa League, prime Tennis tournaments and Basketball leagues and so on.)