The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has renewed the digital terrestrial license of GOtv in Nigeria for a period of three years. The renewal was however on the condition that the operator of GOtv, Details Nigeria Limited, can no longer play the role of signal distributor and content distributor.
The Director-General of the NBC, Dr. Modibbo Kawu, disclosed this on Friday at a press briefing in his office in Abuja.
He explained that in the three year period of licensing, GOtv is expected to go into discussions with any of the two licensed Signal Distributors, Integrated Television Services (ITS) and Pinnacle Communications Limited, on the preferred platform to carry its content. He said stakeholders have reached a resolution that GOtv will only ba Content Provider.
He said they took decision to renew the license, because the new architecture of Nigerian Broadcasting in the digital era, separates the roles of the content provider from that of the signal distributors in accordance with the government White Paper on the transition from Analogue to Digital Broadcasting.
His words: ‘‘Yesterday night, we were able to use the good offices of the National Security Adviser (NSA), to break the logjam in respect of the renewal of the Digital Terrestrial License issued to Details Nigeria Limited for the operations of GOTV. Most of you might be aware, that in January 2018, we had issued a notice, that the said license was not going to be renewed at expiration. That license is actually expected to expire in a couple of days on.
‘‘We took the decision not to renew the license, because the new architecture of Nigerian Broadcasting in the digital era, separates the roles of the content provider from that of the signal distributors. This is according to the government White Paper on the transition from Analogue to Digital Broadcasting.
‘‘Against the backdrop of the notice that we issued in January 2018, there was a lot of disinformation put out in the public space, that NBC had taken a decision to close down GOTV. But that had never been our intention. We realize the place of Details Nigeria as a critical stakeholders in the Nigerian Broadcasting industry; the huge amount of investment they have made in the industry and the jobs that they have created directly and indirectly.
‘‘But the NBC is irrevocably committed to the Digital Switchover (DSO), and the policy guideline in respect of the separation of Content Provider and Signal Distributor. That was why the letter to Details Nigeria Limited. But over the past couple of months, we have held several meetings with representatives of Details Nigeria Limited on the appropriate way to keep them in business in Nigeria, while we also enforce the position of government in respect of the White Paper on DSO.
‘‘Yesterday, we held the definitive meeting under the auspices of the National Security Adviser, General Babagana Monguno, during which we were able to resolve the main obstacles. Yesterday’s meeting resolved that GOTV would have its license renewed for a period of three years. But with certain provisos. The separation of Content Provider from Signal Distributor is non-negotiable! That means that GOTV, going forwards, in the near future, will no longer combine the two functions.
‘‘So in the three year period of licensing that we are issuing, they would be expected to begin discussions with any of the two licensed Signal Distributors, Integrated Television Services (ITS) and Pinnacle Communications Limited, on the preferred platform to carry their content. These resolutions came on the back of often, difficult days of negotiations, that involved several stakeholders.’’
‘‘The resolution of the issue recognized the role of investors in the broadcasting and other sectors of the Nigerian economy. And in resolving the issue, we realize the importance of investor confidence in the Nigerian economy, as well as the efforts to take Nigeria to the next level, by President Muhammadu Buhari.’’