It looks like we may not be seeing direct broadcast satellite services DSTV/GOTV on our screens in 2019, if present circumstances are anything to go by. Owned by MultiChoice with headquarters in Randburg, South Africa, DSTV pretty much cornered the cable network business in Nigeria, crowding out major competition. This was until a few years ago when a couple of indigenous cable companies and DSTV ‘expensive’ rates (in comparison to their rates in South Africa) forced the company to re-strategize and release GOTV, a direct competitor to these smaller cable network owners. However, rumours are starting to swirl that their time here is up. This is due to the expiration of their licence next year June. And, according to an issued statement released Tuesday from the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC), the previous license that was issued to the pay television giant in 2014 will not be renewed because it’s not in line with the Digital Switch Over (DSO) White paper.
The Digital Switch Over is the Nigerian government’s programme of migration of television from analogue to digital. And if MultiChoice decides to continue operations in Nigeria, the company would have to consult technological solutions provider Pinnacle Communications Ltd. Pinnacle Communications facilitated the conversion from analogue to digital terrestrial TV broadcasting in Abuja, and it’s been a major player in the digitization and manufacturing of Set Top Boxes (STBs).
Nigeria is an extremely important market for MultiChoice. The company has invested more than N13 billion ($100 million) in Nigerian content since entry in 1994. And also has been a source of employment for many Nigerians. The ramifications of this great, affecting massively searched entertainment channel Africa Magic and the accessibility of Nollywood films and its annual award show the AMVCAs. 2019 is still a fairly long time, and this is hoping MultiChoice get this sorted.
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