The company’s Managing Director, Dr. Ifeanyi Nwafor told journalists in Port Harcourt on Monday that Metrodigital would start operation following the Federal Government’s directive that mandated Multichoice to sublicence channels to it.
He said the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) had in a letter dated Oct. 25, directed Multichoice to sublicence some of its channels to Metrodigital, hence ending three years of contest between both companies.
“The letter was addressed to the Chief Executive Officer of Multichoice, and signed by George Obi, Head, Legal Unit of NBC on behalf of the Director-General of NBC.
“The letter directed DSTV to comply with the 6th edition of the NBC Code as amended, in pursuant to Metrodigital’s request for channels sublicencing as ordered by the Federal Court of Appeal.’’
Nwafor said with the directive by the NBC, the decades-long monopoly enjoyed by DSTV in the nation’s broadcasting industry had come to an end.
He said the growth of the nation’s broadcast industry had been limited due to monopolistic practices of Multichoice in the pay television industry.
“The monopoly was responsible for the reason why indigenous companies licenced in the last 20 years did not succeed in their operations due to exclusivity, and warehousing, among others.
“So, on realising the danger and daunting challenges posed by these monopolistic practices, the Federal Government took steps to address the problem by amending the broadcast code.
“The code outlawed foreign and domestic acquisition of contents on the basis of exclusivity as well as obligated licencees and broadcasters to sublicence channels for commercially agreeable fees,” he said.
Nwafor said the directive of NBC was in accordance with a ruling of the Court of Appeal sitting in Port Harcourt that mandated NBC to force DSTV to sublicence some of its channels.
The managing director said that Metrodigital had formerly written to Multichoice to sublicence its channels but was yet to receive a response from Multichoice.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) gathered that with this development, local cable TV operators in the country can now sublicence content from Multichoice.