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HiTV Faults ACON’s Claims, Stresses Position

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Hi Media, owners of HiTV have said in a press statement released by Justin Akpovi-Esade, the company’s public relations manager, that there was no time members of the Association of Cable TV Owners of Nigeria (ACON) were willing to pay for it’s content with the intention of rebroadcasting it.
This position is contrary to the claims recently in the media that members of the association were willing to pay HiTV to redistribute its content especially the Barclays Premier League.
The association recently sued HiTV for alleged monopoly of English premiership league righst, a suit Charles Ebuebu, the company’s head of Legal and Content Acquisition, described as not only “frivolous, but reeks of malicious intent.”
Ebuebu stated: “The association brought a frivolous case against HiTV further to a petition (by HiTV) on piracy written to the NCC and NBC against some of its members such as CTL and Metrodigital. Solicitors to HiTV have filed a preliminary objection stating that the court does not have jurisdiction and there is no course of action raised in the matter.”
According to Ebuebu, Hi Media considers it offensive for anybody to allege that it was maintaining a monopoly on the English Premier League right. ACON had asked the courts to declare that satellite television companies should license programmes, especially the English premiership matches to other cable TV companies if they were ready to pay the fees.
“It is entirely false that HiTV is maintaining a monopoly and/or tyranny. From inception, we offered the re-broadcast rights to all broadcasters in the country, but they refused to accept the terms of engagement, which terms were equally passed to us from the head licensor. Also, they preferred to continue with the piracy of content that they have been engaged in all the while due to its negligible cost. It was only Multimesh who paid for a year but also engaged in piracy, which caused the relationship to be severed. We are always ready to offer the rights to other broadcasters but they are not ready to comply with the necessary conditions.”
 “HiTV, when it got the rights has remained the only company willing to do business with others, a certain company had this same right for over a decade and never wanted to do business with anybody, yet none of these people went to court. If CTL and others are sincere, they should bring the letters of proposal written to them, offering them the rights on simple condition of bringing a letter of bank guarantee and a proper business model which HiTV had before the rights were given to it. So, where did we go wrong here? Instead, they chose to pirate our content flagrantly and the case is still with the Nigerian Copyright Commission.”
“Ironically, the case is being spearheaded by a leading member of the association, CTL, which seeks to, according to the members, reposition the operations of cable television industry in Nigeria. CTL is one of the biggest Pay TV broadcasters in the country, yet engage in the piracy of the HiTV sporting content as well as other channels meant for transmission only in the Middle East and North Africa. HiTV has written a petition to the NBC and NCC on the illegal activities of CTL and has further to that, filed a civil suit at the Federal High Court on the matter.”
 “As stated previously, Multimesh Communications have been granted the rights previously and have been provided a draft agreement for the current season. The terms of the carriage of the HiTV soccer rights have being made to CTL as well as all members of ASCON, with the monetary obligations reviewed downwards at a subsequent meeting, but all of them have remained adamant in the infringement of these rights. We are ready to provide documentary evidence of the fact that these rights were previously granted to CTL and ASCON members,” Ebuebu stated.
“It is false to say some broadcasters went under due to lack of sporting programmes, but rather due to their business model which was defective. Nearly all of them especially CTL operates a business plan based on piracy and would always resort to frivolous claims to blind the general public as to its true intentions,” he added.

 


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OurTv Secures LaLiga Broadcasting Rights for Nigeria

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OurTV, a DTH free TV broadcast satellite service provider, has secured broadcast rights for Laliga matches in Nigeria.

OurTv Secures LaLiga Broadcasting Rights for Nigeria

OurTV will broadcast Laliga Santander matches live on its Sports Channel 120.

Commenting on the development, Olushola Peters, Head of Marketing of OurTV, said: “This is one major milestone for OurTv and we want to thank our esteemed users, who have always believed and supported us. We value your input and suggestions as it is a core culture in OurTv to listen and please our viewers as much as we can.”

OurTv is a Direct-To-Home (DTH) TV broadcast satellite service with onetime payment of set-up boxes that offers over 18 unique and exciting channels with the use of homegrown services.


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NCC, AVCNU Set Agenda for Model IP Policy for Nigerian Universities

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The first draft of an Intellectual Property (IP) Policy for Nigerian universities will soon be finalised by Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC), working with the Association of Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities (AVCNU) and the National Universities Commission (NUC).

Mr. John O. Asein, Director-General of NCC, and Secretary-General of the AVCNU, Professor Yakubu Aboki Ochefu, gave this indication at a consultative meeting during a visit of the executives of AVCNU to the Commission’s Headquarters in Abuja recently.

The Director-General said the Commission would fast-track work on the draft IP Policy with a view to entrenching a credible copyright culture in the nation’s tertiary institutions.

“The adoption and implementation of an IP Policy in universities will guide lecturers, students and librarians on their copyright obligations and address the allocation of rights in our institutions of higher learning,” he stated.

Mr. Asein also noted that implementation of an IP Policy would boost the Commission’s national anti-piracy campaign and enhance research and the use of IP knowledge in Nigerian universities. This, he asserted, has become even more imperative in light of the attitudinal changes brought about in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He decried the lack of copyright policy guidelines for library users in most Nigerian universities resulting in unregulated photocopying by students to the financial detriment of authors. He, therefore, urged AVCNU to assist in the implementation of the understanding earlier reached between the Reproduction Rights Society of Nigeria (REPRONIG) and the AVCNU on behalf of the Universities.

The Director-General remarked that it was an irony that universities were not eager to obtain licences despite the fact that most of the authors would be among the primary beneficiaries. He also advised REPRONIG to explore ways of ensuring that those universities that signed up for its licence obtained value for money.

In his remarks, the Secretary-General of AVCNU, Professor Yakubu Aboki Ochefu, thanked the NCC DG for assisting with the development of a model IP Policy for Nigerian Universities. He disclosed that the plagiarism detection software, Eaglescan, introduced recently for use in Nigerian Universities has helped to check the incidence of plagiarism and copyright abuses in the universities.

The Secretary-General observed that copyright has become a critical issue in Nigerian universities in view of the increasing relevance of the virtual learning environment occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic. He expressed concern that many universities in Nigeria have no copyright policy and assured that the AVCNU would support the Commission in the development and adoption of the proposed IP Policy for universities to enrich the academic and research culture.

Professor Ochefu further indicated interest in the operations of the Nigerian Copyright Academy (NCA) and assured the Commission that AVCNU would work with the Academy to promote copyright education and enlightenment in the country, especially in the university system.

The visit of the AVCNU officials to the Commission is a follow up to an earlier visit of the NCC management team to the Association’s secretariat in February this year during which the Director-General of NCC advocated the urgent need for a model IP Policy for Nigerian Universities.


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Extreme E Partners StarTimes to Broadcast Series across Africa

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Electric off-road motor racing series Extreme E has signed a three-year agreement with digital TV operator StarTimes to broadcast the series live across the African continent.

Extreme E Partners StarTimes to Broadcast Series across Africa

The deal will see Extreme E’s five-race series aired live to more than 30 African countries including Kenya, Nigeria, Cameroon and Cote d’Ivoire in English, French, Portuguese and other local languages. Season one gets underway in early 2021.

The agreement with StarTimes is the latest broadcast deal to be announced by Extreme E, with the championship also set to partner with BBC (UK), Discovery (Europe and North America), FOX Sports (United States, Canada and the Caribbean), FOX Sports Asia (Southeast Asia), FOX Sports Australia, Mediaset (Italy), Sony India (Indian subcontinent), TVNZ (New Zealand), RTM (Malaysia), Dubai Sports (Middle East), RDS (Canada), China Sports Zhibo.tv (China), RTL 7 (The Netherlands), ORF (Austria), ESPN Africa and BTRC (Belarus).

Commenting on the deal, Ali Russell, chief marketing officer at Extreme E, said: “Extreme E is a top-tier sporting product unlike anything else out there at the moment. Likened to Star Wars Pod Racing meets Dakar Rally, its mission is to drive awareness of climate change worldwide, whilst promoting battery electric vehicles and workable, sustainable solutions. This broadcast partnership with StarTimes is really important for helping to share our messages across Africa, which is an integral location to the series as Senegal’s Lac Rose plays host to our Ocean stage.”

Kristen Miao, StarTimes sports director, added: “Motorsports are getting more and more popular in Africa and at the same time people are increasingly concerned about climate change issues. With Extreme E, they will see that sustainability can also mean excitement and adrenaline. We are delighted to bring this unique championship into millions of homes across Africa.”

 


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