The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) says 30 free TV channels coming after the digital switch over (DSO) in Abuja will be from Nigerian stations.
Mallam Is’haq Modibbo Kawu, Director General of NBC dropped this hint during a recent visit by the Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) to the broadcast regulator.
The Abuja rollout of the DSO coming up in the middle of this December is part of the Nigeria’s commitment to meet up with the June 2017 deadline for the country’s total switch over from analogue to broadcasting digital as mandated by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).
The 30 free channels Abuja residents will receive will consist of five local channels, five regional channels and 20 national channels and this process will be replicated in other parts of the country, the NBC DG said.
Under the plan, the Abuja DSO is not a pilot but the beginning of the switch over process, the DG said noting that content was at the heart of everything the broadcast regulator is doing in the industry now.
He also hinted that the NBC has organised a content production financing workshop in Lagos, Enugu and Kano for content providers, as part of plans by the Commission to create a Content development fund
Kawu wants the NBC and COSON to work together after the switch over as there will be a lot of local content available, adding that there will also be a digital access fee once the switch over is rolled out.
“The niche that we occupy in broadcasting and the digital era will enable us to do more and assist broadcast stations. Therefore, the work of COSON was very vital to what we do at the Commission,” he said.
Chief Alex Tony Okoroji, the Chairman of COSON noted that as the country move to the digital era in the broadcast industry, transmitters will no longer be bought but rather the energy will be fully focused on content creation.
Okoroji asked the broadcast regulator to ensure that before stations renew their licences they should request for COSON receipts from them or licenses will not be renewed.
In a separate development, delegations from the Global Home Shopping Co. Ltd, (GHS) a Chinese company, led by Jason Kong paid a courtesy visit to the NBC headquarters seeking for partnership with Commission ahead of the DSO.
Jason Kong said during the visit that the company’s focus was on culture and media and would want to invest in the media and culture industry in Nigeria.
He informed the NBC management that the company has a 24hrs TV channel which showcases the videos of high quality products they sell online.
He also added that they were hoping to have the chance in Nigeria to showcase their business and would need the support of the NBC, believing that they will make the TV market in Nigeria better.
Kawu assured the Chinese delegation of the NBC’s willingness to give the company the opportunity and see how their plans can be incorporated into the Commission’s framework.
The National Broadcasting Commission is the body that regulates and control broadcasting in Nigeria, and the body overseeing the current Digital Switch Over project under the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture.