Cable television

“No law regulates the prices charged by cable television operators” -NBC

The Deputy Director of Research and Policy at the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Mr. Anete Onyebuchi, said that Nigeria has no laws to regulate or control the prices charged by cable television operators in Nigeria .

Onyebuchi made this known while representing the agency’s CEO before the Senate’s ad hoc committee in a day-long public hearing investigating pay-TV hikes and demand for the model. pay-per-view subscription in Nigeria.

The ad hoc committee chaired by Deputy Senate Whip, Senator Sabi Abdullahi, explained that the investigation became necessary after various Multi Choice bouquet packages were increased by 80% over the past five years.

Abdullahi noted that the development was not in the interest of subscribers, especially when a court warned Multi Choice against carrying out its latest increase introduced on March 30 this year.

MultiChoice Nigeria Managing Director John Ugbe who said the several legal and legislative measures taken to compel the company to operate the view model would not work as it is difficult to implement.

“While it may seem like a noble intention for this committee to be concerned about the rising cost of subscription services, the pay-per-view (PPV) model that this committee is calling for won’t work,” he said. either for the benefit of the consumer or the industry.

“It would appear that this problem is due to some confusion in understanding basic definitions and distinctions between some of the existing operating business models in telecommunications and pay-TV broadcasting.

“A pay-per-view is not the same thing and is very different from Pay As You Go (PAYG).

“The PPV model allows a subscriber to watch one-time special events, usually of the high-priced sports and entertainment variety, by paying for those events in addition to having an active subscription.

“Pay-As-You-Go offers a metered service mode where consumers are only charged for the service they consume and not for a fixed period.”

“This committee’s desire to adopt the PPV is further challenged by the lack of any technology capable of detecting or determining which viewers are tuned in at a time.

“Once you can’t get that knowledge, per-view billing becomes difficult, if not nearly impossible.

Reacting differently, the duo of Dr Bright Echeffe, managing director of TSTV and Tunde Aina, managing director of Startimes, said cable TV operators could adopt a pay-per-day model to ease the pains of poor subscribers.

The TSTV boss said: “Pay-per-view is not feasible, but we have offered pay-per-view. We also allow our subscribers to choose the package depending on how many channels they want to watch. »

The panel chairman assured stakeholders that the Senate had not taken a position on the matter and that the report would be based on the memorandum they had submitted to the panel.