To begin with, we must cast our minds back to the pre-regulation era in Nigeria when radio and television stations were wholly and solely government-owned, both federal and state with the concomitant stranglehold on those stations and the personnel writ large.
No doubt, freedom of expression was stifled, access was not guaranteed, and right of reply, which is now universally accepted and practiced was denied.
Now, television broadcasting in Nigeria is going to be fifty years in Nigeria come October, but what gave birth to radio and television was the denial of right of reply to late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, the then Premier of Western Nigeria by the Colonial Masters following a grave allegation. That in a nutshell paints the picture of the essence of private broadcasting.
To be specific, what is a radio or television network? A network is a closely connected group of radio and television stations that exchange information or programmes i.e. a communication/distribution network. Such networks broadcast a television or a radio programme on stations in several different areas at the same time. What you can again call simulcasting.
Given the fact that stations are licensed to broadcast in cities, and no broadcasting organization has licence for all the states of the federation, it stands to reason that when radio stations of different hues are allowed to network, the audience stand to benefit from the array of new programmes, news and news-related programmes, breaking news as well as various advertisements.
Therefore, the introduction of private radio and television network allows the private stations to collaborate, exchange content and share adverts revenue.
For broadcasting in the country, the advantages are immense. One, it encourages the production of new programmes – drama, movies, soap operas, quiz, reality shows and documentaries among others.
Two, the networks create jobs for different genres of workers in the broadcasting industry – producers, directors, engineers, internet technology operatives and marketers.
Three, broadcasting contributes largely to the economy of the country through advertising revenue, taxation and value added tax (VAT).
And finally with the digitization era we are into, equipment manufacturers will go to work and the country also benefits.