NBC defies court order to intervene on Metrodigital complaint
Metro Digital, a local pay television company, has expressed concern about the National Broadcasting Commission’s (NBC) refusal to comply with a court order compelling it to intervene in Metrodigital’s complaint against Multichoice’s refusal to sublet its premium content by the National Broadcasting Code.
The Court of Appeal in Port Harcourt, Rivers state, ordered NBC to “initiate the procedure for determining the dispute” between Metrodigital and Multichoice under the NBC Act, the 6th Edition of the Broadcasting Code, and its amendment within 21 days.
Dr. John Nwanfor, Managing Director of Metro Digital, expressed concern over the situation yesterday, “NBC has not responded, no contact has been made to us, and the 21 days have passed. We do not know why, but we are working with the Federal Government (FG) to ensure that NBC responds.
“This is not just a fight for Metro TV. Local pay TV companies such as Daar sat, Trend tv, Consat, FSTV, and a host of others have all died due to their inability to cope with unhealthy business practices in the Nigerian broadcasting space. The death of these companies led to thousands of job losses across the country.
“The Federal Government, seeing the dangers of monopoly, took bold steps to outlaw exclusivity in the acquisition of content.” With the end of the monopoly, the industry will grow exponentially with lots of innovations.
Many jobs will be created, prices will come down for the Nigerian public, and the quality of service will improve due to the newfound competition. “
As a result, Nwanfor asked stakeholders, notably the NBC and the FG, to uphold their regulatory responsibilities and obey the court ruling, stating, “No one is asking NBC to do the unthinkable.”
“It is just a question of enforcing a guiding regulation encoded in the Act in black and white. That was the basis on which the court decided in our favor.”