Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture, says the Federal Government is turning the digital TV switchover into tools for empowerment and employments.
The Minister who was present at the commissioning of the new television station of Wazobia Max Channel says that while the general thrust is to switch from analogue to digital TV services, the Federal Government has decided to make it much more by recreating the experience and turning it into an empowerment and employment tool for the country’s increasingly vibrant creative industry.
The Minister say that “digital television is a far more efficient and flexible transmission system than the current analogue system. It allows broadcasters to offer viewers a range of new and different services. Unlike the analogue broadcasting, the digital broadcasting technology is not limited to the delivery of television programmes only.”[quote font=”georgia” font_size=”22″ font_style=”italic” align=”right” arrow=”yes”]Mohammed says the middle-ware in the Set Top Boxes will allow film producers to sell their Nollywood movies directly to customers, who can then access them without Internet connection underscoring that this is expected to truly move the industry into the digital era for an industry that started with VHS video tapes, moved into CDs and DVDs will now move to Set Top Boxes that will give access to thousands of movies.[/quote]
He adds that “value added and interactive services such as Electronic Programme Guide (EPG), television shopping, weather forecasts, electronic newspapers etc can also be accessed on the television set by the viewer, ushering in a new television viewing experience. The capacity generated by the digital broadcasting technology allows for more players to be licensed for the provision of many more television services, compared to the analogue broadcasting technology.”
Mohammed says that “this means more choice for the viewers, with the possibility of services being licensed by genre, for example, musical, news, gospel, movie and so on. In fact, the benefits outlined earlier on will be there for members of the public to experience and to enjoy.”
The ‘noteworthy’ launch of the new TV channel is coming just four days after the switch-over from analogue to digital broadcasting in the pilot phase of the Digital Switch Over (DSO) in Jos, Plateau State, Mohammed says stressing that the Digital Swicth-Over (DSO) is an evolving media landscape that “affects us all and how we receive, watch, monetize and develop television and production going forward.”
According to the Minister, “what happened in Jos at the weekend is momentous and has been hailed as the dawn of new era for Government, TV Channels, Producers, Advertisers and, most importantly, the Nigerian TV customer. With the switch over, we will be introducing 30 free to air local and international channels, but our main focus is Local. We hope to create such improvement in the quality and diversity of the channels available to all Nigerians for the benefits of our viewing public.
Mohammed says the middle-ware in the Set Top Boxes will allow film producers to sell their Nollywood movies directly to customers, who can then access them without Internet connection underscoring that this is expected to truly move the industry into the digital era for an industry that started with VHS video tapes, moved into CDs and DVDs will now move to Set Top Boxes that will give access to thousands of movies.
He emphasized that as this digital evolution is pursued, the challenge to channel owners is going to be greater investment in local content and production, stressing that with DSO, they will no longer be bogged down with transmission issues but in beefing up their content.
With forensic audience measurement now becoming part of the benefits of digitization, advertising Naira will only follow great content and it will become impossible to survive if one is not immersed in content creation, he says explaining that “the advertiser will know what people are watching and when they are watching it and will therefore put their money were the eyeballs are and by making the playing field very level, content will truly become king.”
He rounded off his speech by welcoming Wazobia Max Channel to the digital era saying that the ‘birth’ of the television channel could not have come at a better time while urging the TV company to take full advantage of the digital era, especially as the next stop in the Federal Government’s roll-out plan is the city of Abuja.