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  • April 18, 2018
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On behalf of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), the regulatory institution for broadcasting in Nigeria, I will like to thank Ijeoma and other organizers of this First Nigerian International Television Summit, holding in this lovely city of Paris, the capital of France, for inviting the NBC, to participate, sponsor and address you. Ijeoma is a lady of remarkable energy and commitment; she has continued to work, against often, very daunting challenges, to expand the horizons of the Nigerian creative industry, and their world-wide acceptance. I met her for the first time two years ago, and her effusive commitment to what she does, could never be missed. The fact that she has been able to put this Summit together, is testimony to hard work. I am also not surprised that the France is also part of this project. The French commitment to issues of culture, including African cultural initiatives, is very well known. The truth that underlines these facts, is that Nigeria’s creative industry, including its television component, has become one of the most important cultural packages of the contemporary world. The hard work of our creative community is speaking positively for Nigeria, and all over the world, an increasingly young population, in every continent of the world, is consuming Nigerian creative output as part of their cultural makeup on a daily basis. This Summit would hopefully, open newer apertures, for all of us working in broadcasting in general, and television content in particular, to showcase the new content coming out of Nigeria. We are therefore delighted to be asked to participate in this Summit. BACKGROUND: As you may be aware, the digitization of Terrestrial Broadcasting is pursuant to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Radio Communication Conference of 2006 (RRC-06) and the subsequent Geneva 2006 Agreement (GE-06), which recommended the transition from analogue form of broadcasting to digital by June 2016, by all countries in the world. Unfortunately, as a result of a combination of factors, Nigeria missed scheduled dates for the transition, however, the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), the driving government agency for the project, working closely with DIGITEAM NIGERIA, the implementation Committee, has shown commitment to the transition through the implementation of several critical requirements of the DSO as enunciated by the Federal Governments White Paper on the Digital Switch Over. We have so far switched on in Jos, Plateau state; the Federal Capital Territory (FCT); Kwara, Kaduna; Enugu and Osun states. While facilities are being put in place now for the switchover in Delta and Gombe states. We are also committed to switching on in six other states before the end of 2018. We are also concluding work at the moment, on the digital mapping of the entire Federal Republic of Nigeria. NIGERIA: COUNTRY FACTS • Population: 198m, according to the statistics released by the National Population Commission early this week. • Another 10 million Nigerians live abroad, one of the world’s largest diasporas • GDP: $5121 billion (2013) GDP growth 6.1% GDP per capita $2,800 (2012) • Highest number of TV/VCR penetration in Africa of 26 million TVH • Most active media/broadcast sector with over 700 TV and Radio stations • “Nollywood”: The 3rd largest movie producing nation after India and Hollywood. • The Nigerian entertainment market is deep. • 55 per cent of Nigeria’s 198 million population is young STATE OF TELEVISION AND DIGITIZATION: - Majority of Nigerians currently access only Free-to-Air, but there is an increasing awareness that digital television is going to supplant the old way of watching television. - Current quality of analogue television offering is not offering the variety that can satisfy the expectations of the country. For example, there is a very insignificant amount of local children and youth or family oriented programming. -TV offering as presently is, does not adequately reflect the vast diversity of communities in Nigeria NIGERIA’S MEDIA POLICY: A cardinal point in Nigeria’s Mass Communication Policy, is the promotion of local content in our creative industry. For instance, government deliberately instituted a local content ratio of 60-40 percent local to foreign content, to ensure the growth of the local creative industry: music, drama film and television. This provision assisted the explosive growth of the local music and film industry in Nigeria, leading to the discovery of several stars and creating opportunities for the young to maximize their creative potentials. In the same vein, when government discovered that the valuable family belt of 6.00pm to 10.00pm on television was dominated by foreign content, government instituted a policy requesting television stations to ensure that only indigenous local content was aired at that prime time belt. That also assisted local content to gained traction and to enjoy advertising spend, which was hitherto spent on the foreign productions that used to dominate television in Nigeria. With the DSO process, 70 percent of all content in Nigeria would be expected to be local. This philosophy also underscores the implementation of the on-going digitization of broadcasting in Nigeria, where government demonstrated commitment to promoting local industry. The entire delivery chain is run by Nigerian companies: Signal Distribution, Set-Top Box production and Content production. All the 30 channels on the DTT platform are Nigerian; and moving forwards, there will be more opportunities in the DSO process, for Nigerians to increasingly monetize their content. IMPLEMENTATION OF THE DIGITIZATION PROCESS: A total of thirteen (13) local set-top-box manufacturers were authorized to manufacture the estimated 22Million Set-Top-Boxes for Nigeria’s television homes in the Digital Switch Over. Six of these companies have set-up in-country plants for the purpose of assembly and eventual production of the boxes in Nigeria. The DSO White Paper provided for the reservation of a licence for an independent signal distribution operator to be created out of the Federal government’s Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), leveraging on the existing infrastructure, for deployment of the DTT network in Nigeria. That company is already operating as the Integrated Television Services (ITS) Limited. ITS is transmitting DTT signals for Plateau, Kwara, Osun and Enugu states. The second company emerged through an open, competitive bidding process. That is Pinnacle Communications Limited. Pinnacle Communications Limited is already transmitting in the Federal Capital Territory and Kaduna states. They are in the midst of installation of facilities now, for the roll out in Delta and Gombe states. The NBC commissioned Inview Limited to provide a Conditional Access System in Nigerian-manufactured Set-Top-Boxes. While our Call Center operators are the Out Source Company. Another indigenous company, Cable Channels Nigeria Limited (CCNL), is managing the marketing and aggregation of the thirty channels we are presently broadcasting in two multiplexes, of our DTT proposition. BENEFITS OF THE DSO IN NIGERIA: The DSO in the long run is laden with a lot of benefits, as has been shown with the experience around the world, and which we are also witnessing in Nigeria. These include the following: Savings in infrastructure cost; new broadcasting business models; improved coverage quality; better picture and sound quality; mobile broadcasting possibilities; the possibility of more channels; the creation of new jobs in production of new content; and the provision of value addition. The investment in the Set-Top-Boxes assembly/manufacturing is programmed to creative thousands of direct jobs, up to 6,500, when the STB companies install their plants and begin full production. Already, one of the authorized STB manufacturers has installed the first Surface Mount Technology (SMT) and chipset manufacturing plant in West Africa. It was commissioned last year. This will service the entire STB production system in Nigeria, and hopefully, the West African sub-region. There are spin-off possibilities in the local plastic industry. While there is also the possibility of setting up of an in-country Digital Television Test Laboratory. A key objective of the Digitization process in Nigeria, is to use the technical advantages it offers to raise necessary funds to be able to boost local programs content production. This we will do, through the Digital Access Fee (DAF), which is collectable through the Set-Top-Boxes. DAF is an access fee that each​viewer will have to pay before accessing the Free-to-View television channels. Our plan is to use the DAF funds as the basis for the creation of a National Content Development Fund. This Fund will support Nigeria’s creative and talented young professionals, expected to create the content of the Digital era. REVENUE SOURCES FOR THE DSO IN NIGERIA: So far, the DSO process has been able to raise these funds: 1.​Lease of Spectrum: N35 Billion 2.​Signal Distributor License Fee: N650million * 2 = N 1.3billion 3.​STB Manufacturers Authorization Fee: N50Million* 7 = N 350Million 4.​Content Aggregator License Fee: N150 Million 5.Total expected revenue from TV License Fee: N39 Billion per annum increasing to N333Billion per annum by 2030 NEW INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES: The deployment of Set-Top-Boxes opens up new opportunities of investment that will impact positively on the Nigerian broadcasting industry in particular, and the creative industry in general. The new aperture that is opening will see the deployment of Electronic Program Guide (EPG), which offers full searchable 7-day program guide with options for additional program metadata and images. Systems for aggregation, scheduling and playout of textual, graphical, video, audio and EPG information plus acquisition and publication of various services and their integration into broadcasts. PVR Recording; a functionality that allows booking of video content on memory stick directly from the EPG, with options for single event recording or series recording. Also a functionality where live video can be paused; rewound, etc. News & Info Services. This is particularly useful for government information of all hues, like health, traffic, education, promos etc. Push Video on Demand (VOD) can be used to deliver “Nollywood Netflix”; Advertising, these might be broadcast or IP based advertising services for the promotion of revenue generating content or sale to third parties. Others will include end-to-end solution, including STB, content aggregation and delivery; plus secure web-based consoles. Apps & Games; this offers additional user services and games. There is possibility of a runtime environment for games and other interactive applications. Connected Services including VOD, with connectivity options for IP related services like VOD, Catch Up, Network PVR and Multiscreen; There is also possibility for both high bandwidth and low bandwidth connectivity. Collection of Audience Measurement Data which is vital for providing accurate audience measurement data needed to maximize the value of the Nigerian advertising industry, and the implications that would have on the rating of broadcast output and the advertisement that would trigger. The numbers are impressive, because we are looking at the possibilities of a thriving Nigerian digital economy; the $1bn pa increase in TV advertising and Nollywood output. The services to be deployed would also help fast-track improved mobile services from additional data bandwidth; increased broadband penetration and the contributions these can bring to Nigeria’s GDP growth. So the Digital Switch Over (DSO) process is potentially a major driving force for national development in Nigeria. CONCLUSION: In the last two years, NBC has conducted a series of training programs and workshops for the industry as part of the transition. These processes covered arrears like content production, content financing, advertising and technology. We also held seminars with members of the legislature and other key stake holders. Already the DSO is affecting the lives of Nigerians positively; low income poor Nigerians can now watch a multiplicity of 30 channels and with diverse content offerings. The creative industry got a revolutionary boost with opportunities for content creation. The STB manufacturing plants are already creating jobs, with possibilities of technology acquisition and the honing of technical skills. We have also laid a basis for improved information interactivity between the citizens and government . And as I pointed out earlier, there are tremendous investment opportunities, that would impact positively on the Nigerian television and creative industries. Thank you very much for your attention!

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