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MultiChoice, Others Reject Senate’s Pay-Per-View DSTV Subscription Model



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MultiChoice Nigeria and major stakeholders in the pay television broadcasting industry in the country have rejected a pay-per-view model advocated by the Senate.

Major cable television providers in the country currently operate the monthly subscription model.

The stakeholders said that the PPV model being canvassed by the Senate is not feasible.

MultiChoice and stakeholders in the sector made the assertions at a one-day public hearing organised by the Senate Ad-Hoc Committee investigating “Pay-Tv hikes and demand for the pay-per-view subscription model in Nigeria,” in Abuja.

The Committee was chaired by Deputy Senate Whip Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi.

Some members of the panel present at the session include Senators Michael Nnachi, Suleiman Abdul Kwari and Abba Moro, who moved the motion for the Senate to investigate the incessant price hike by cable television operators in the country.

Mr. John Ugbe, Chief Executive Officer, MultiChoice Nigeria, in his presentation,said several legal and legislative moves made to compel the firm to operate pay-per-view model did not work because it was not feasible.

Ugbe said: “Whilst it may appear to be a noble intent for this Committee to be concerned over the rising cost of subscription services; however, the Pay-Per-View (PPV) model being canvassed by this Committee will not work either to the benefit of the consumer or the industry.

“It would appear that this problem is because of some confusion in understanding the basic definitions and distinctions between some of the existing operational business models in telecommunications and pay-tv broadcasting.

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

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

“Pay-As-You-Go, accommodates a metered mode of service, where consumers are billed only for the service they consume and not for a fixed period.

“The desire by this Committee to adopt PPV is further challenged by the non-existence of any technology that can detect and or determine the viewers are tuned in per time.

“Once it is impossible to have this knowledge, billings based on ‘per view’ become difficult if not almost impossible.

“It is therefore my humble submission to this distinguished committee that due to the nature of content acquisition and technological limitations that PAYG model is not practical for broadcasting and thus is not practiced and basically cannot be implemented anywhere in the world.”

On the issue of incessant price increases by MultiChoice, Ugbe attributed the development to several factors including inflation, programming content cost, broadcast transmission facilities and massive investment to innovate and keep up with technological changes.

Other factors, according to him, are anti-piracy costs, security costs, marketing and operational costs, exchange rate fluctuations, tax, regulatory fees, and cumulative national and local levies.

“Some of the adverse economic factors highlighted above have not only affected the subscription prices for pay-tv, but have generally led to substantial increments in the pricing of a wide range of goods and services ranging from essential commodities like food, transportation, clothing, healthcare, educational services to other consumer goods like petrol, building materials, cars, etc,” Ugbe said.

On his part, a former Director General of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Emeka Mba, said the issues of Pay-Per-View (PPV) and Pay-TVpricing, does not amount to an important regulatory problem worthy of Senate’s intervention.

Mba: “As Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, Professor Malcom Sparrow famously said in his book ‘The Regulatory Craft’, Regulators should pick important problems and fix them.’

“In my humble opinion it appears that the issues being addressed today, does not reflect or amount to an important regulatory problem.

“Whilst it may appear worrying that pay Tv services subscription charges are increasing, this must be seen within the larger economic window of rising inflation, cost of living and exchange rate challenges that is faced by every sector of the economy.

“For instance, the prices of almost every item on every family’s grocery list have increased significantly, based on the realities of demand and supply occasioned by the economic factors mentioned above.”

Besides, the Chief Executive Officer of TSTV, Dr. Bright Echefu and Chief Operating Officer of Startimes, Tunde Aina, however said even if a PPV model is not feasible, Cable TV operators could adopt pay per day models to lessen the pains of poor subscribers.

Echefu said, “Pay-Per-View is not feasible but we came up with pay per day. We also allow our subscribers to choose the package based on the numbers of channels they wanted to watch.”

The Chairman’ of the Committee, Sabi Abdullahi, in his opening remarks, said the Senate constituted the panel following a motion on the subject matter approved at plenary.

He said the motion stated that various packages of the MultiChoice bouquet had been increased by 80 per cent in the last five years.

Abdullahi said the development was not in the best interest of the subscribers especially when a Court had cautioned the MultiChoice Nigeria against carrying out its latest increment which it introduced on March 30 this year.

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

The Leader of the Senate, Ibrahim Gobir, who represented the Senate President, urged the stakeholders to be frank in their presentations so as to enable the Senate come up with recommendations that would be in the interest of all.

Abba Moro, who moved the motion, said he believed that the pay-tv should be considerate in their bouquet pricing.

According to him, the MultiChoice, which is the operator of DSTV and GOTV, has over two million subscribers.

He recounted the firm’s many price increment since 2009 till date.

Moro said: “MultiChoice increase prices without recource to the economic reality without adopting the pay-per-view.

“DSTV, GOTV will be raping Nigerians if they consistently shunned the pay-per-view model which could ameliorate the hardship being faced by the subscribers.”

However, the Deputy Director, Research and Policy at the National Broadcasting Commission, Mr. Aneke Stan Onyebuchi, who represented the Director General said the agency had no enabling law to either regulate or control the incessant price increases by cable television operators in the country.

Onyebuchi said, “There are negative reactions whenever MultiChoice incresases its price and the NBC is concerned.

“However, the NBC Act only gives it power to receive, consider and investigate complaints regarding broadcast contents. Nowhere in the Act was the NBC given powers to regulate the prices being charged on their services.”

He, therefore urged the National Assembly to amend the NBC Act to give it powers to regulate prices in the industry.

The Director, Tax Policy and Advisory, Federal Inland Revenue Service, Temitayo Orebajo, said cable TV operators are concerned about making profits despite the harsh operational environment.

He said, “The MultiChoice for instance, expresses fears that replacing monthly billing with pay-per view, will reduce their revenues.

“However, the FIRS believes that the migration will not affect their income, rather they would get more subscribers.”

The representative of the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Abubakar Ladan, stressed the need to amend the NBC Act to enable the agency sanction erring Cable TV operators.

He said, “We need to review the NBC Act in response to the dynamic and reality on ground, in the interest of the poor subscribers.”

Ladan, who is the Director/ Secretary, Frequency Management Council, said the ministry was doing everything to protect the interest of Nigerians.

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Ugo Onwuaso is an ICT enthusiast. He believes technology should be used for general good. He holds a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree from the Lagos state University. Dear Reader, Your support matters. But we believe that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. That is why, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and finance and how they affect lives. Our incisive and analytical view of how technology news affects the daily life help individuals and organizations make up their minds. Quality journalism costs money. Today, we're asking that you support us to do more. Kindly support our effort to deliver technology and finance journalism to everyone in the world. Donate as little as N1,000. Bank transfers can be made to: UBA Plc 1017156876 Communication Week Media Ltd


Oriental News 2024 Summit: Muda Yusuf to Lead Discussion on Nigeria’s Path to Green Economy Transition 



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Dr. Muda Yusuf, Chief Executive Officer, CEO, of the Center for The Promotion of Private Enterprise, CPPE, would drive discussion on Nigeria’s policy direction to establishing pathway towards economic recovery in line with global green economy initiative.

Muda Yusuf

Muda Yusuf

Yusuf, a renowned economist and former Director General, DG, of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, LCCI, is the chairman of the 3rd National Conference being put together by Oriental News Nigeria, coming up on July 25th, 2024, at Radisson Blue GRA Ikeja, Lagos by 9am.

In recent years, economies all around the world have been experiencing a protracted slowdown driven by structural, global, and cyclical factors. Economic strategies that have been implemented to tackle recession and achieve rapid economic development have endangered sustainable growth by contributing to environmental degradation, global warming, and other negative repercussions.

Changing the paradigm to a green economy will boost natural capital stocks, safeguard the environment, and ensure social justice by providing practical tools and approaches to achieve sustainable growth while reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities.

A transition to a green economy, however, faces challenges such as a lack of an appropriate policy framework, inadequate capital expenditure, varying levels of development, and resource endowments.

Therefore, for green sustainable development, newer business models, strategic changes and innovation in the use of resources, responsible and cleaner business practices, and green technologies are needed.

Above issues will form part of discussion to be spearheaded by Yusuf, who will further highlight challenges and how to accelerate the process.

Also, the Ag. Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, MD/CEO of the Rural Electrification Agency, REA, Abba Abubakar Aliyu, will be addressing key energy professionals and other government officials on the Agency’s current drive towards delivering clean and reliable electricity across Nigeria.

Aliyu, who has confirmed his participation at the conference will take audience through World Bank approved Nigeria Distributed Access through Renewable Energy Scale-up (DARES) project

At the event also, the Director General, D-G of the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, Dr. Emomotimi Agama, would be x-raying key policies and options available in the country’s drive to strengthen her national economy while aligning with global push towards promoting green economy.

All of these will be the high point at the 3rd National Conference.

Oriental News Nigeria a leading digital media platform would gather key policy makers, Government and non-Governmental Organisations, industry experts in Nigeria’s financial sector to the conference which revolves around Nigeria’s Green Economy Initiative.

The theme of the 2024 Conference: ” Green Economy, Sustainable Growth and Infrastructure Transformation” considers various options available for Nigeria to sustain economic development and growth.

Sub-themes of the conference include, Green Finance, marketing, and supply chain, Strategies and Policies for a green economy, Renewable energy and Ecosystem for a green economy and Digital economy Entrepreneurship.

Agama, who has confirmed his attendance, expressed the belief that opportunities in terms of green economy are linked to the enormous possibilities for sustainable agriculture, renewable energy, ecotourism, and coastal development.

Also, other stakeholders have highlighted that Nigeria’s commitment to harnessing its natural resource potential could make the country a pioneer in promoting green economy development, hence the choice of the theme of the conference.

The conference is segmented into two main broad areas, with the opening programme to address the key thematic topic through the guest speakers intervention and chairmans remarks with comments from participants which centers around the conference theme.

The second segment is round-table discussion through wider engagement by select professionals to discuss the main theme and sub-themes of the conference.

The conference will draw together and engage researchers, eminent practitioners, and policymakers from across the country who will form part of the plenary (Round-Table) session that will deliberate on the latest findings on practices and policies for a green economy and sustainable growth through strategic change and identify priorities for action by stakeholders to pursue the most promising policies and practices.

The conference will also serve as a venue where academic peers may exchange information, share experiences, collaborate, and develop management answers to pressing business issues.

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5 Core Business Areas where AI can Drive Revenue



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By Kehinde Ogundare, Country Manager, Zoho Nigeria.

According to the United Nations, artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to contribute up to $15.7 trillion to the global economy by 2030 – of which $1.2 trillion could be generated by Africa. With the potential to unlock significant growth and development in key industries across the continent, AI is fundamentally changing how businesses operate, driving innovation, improving efficiencies, and transforming lives.

Kehinde Ogundare, Country Manager, Zoho Nigeria

Businesses of all sizes that have already invested in AI are reaping its benefits, from increasing business productivity and agility to improving customer experience and decision-making with McKinsey noting that AI leaders are outperforming their industry peers by a factor of 3.4.

But if businesses are to make the most of the opportunities offered by AI, it’s also important that it be deployed in the areas where it will have the greatest impact. Here are some areas and subsequent examples of how businesses can use AI within those areas to drive revenue.

1. Finance and billing

One of the most obvious places AI can help drive revenue in a business is in finances and billing. Having an accurate, up-to-date overview of finances can help an organisation know when to invest in growth, for example. And if a business wants a steady revenue flow, it must send out bills, invoices, and payment reminders on time.

Here, AI can help in several ways. When it comes to expense bills, for example, an AI tool with built-in image recognition would allow a business to scan its bills with the system, then auto-generate the amount, place, date, time, and category of expense, helping save loads of time and effort. For billing, meanwhile, AI can greatly speed up the onboarding process for new clients by automating large parts of it. AI-powered tools can also extract relevant information from invoices, including customer details and product descriptions, and automatically populate billing systems, creating further efficiency.

2. Lead prioritisation

Another key area is new business leads. More specifically, AI can help assess the calibre of leads that the sales team is bringing in. After all, two or three great leads can be more beneficial than 10 weak ones.

Using a points-based system, AI can help score leads according to their quality. That allows the sales team to better evaluate which leads are worth pursuing. In turn, that should allow them to make more sales at a more meaningful level.

3. Improved customer experience

Customer experience (CX), rather than product or price differences, has been the major differentiator for businesses for some time now. Customers are willing to spend more, are more likely to stay loyal, and recommend a business to friends and family if they have a good experience with it.

Businesses, therefore, need to pull out more stops than ever to ensure that their customer experience really stands out. Here again, AI can be helpful. Take sentiment analysis, for example. AI can help identify the most disgruntled customers, allowing customer success teams to focus on their needs and turn their experience of the business around.

4. Better targeted marketing

The most effective marketing today is highly personalised and targeted. AI can make it significantly easier to achieve the level of targeted personalisation necessary for marketing success today. Once integrated with a company’s data, an AI marketing tool can create and hone personalised marketing content based on each individual customer’s CRM data.

5. Enhanced employee productivity

There is a strong correlation between employee productivity and revenue. Employee productivity is in turn driven by positive employee experiences. The more productive your employees are, the higher your revenues and profit margins will be. AI can help improve both productivity and the overall employee experience by automating repetitive tasks, allowing employees to focus on the kind of meaningful work that drives increased revenues.

Embrace AI, but use the right providers

While AI can add immense value when it comes to driving revenue within organisations, it’s also critical that businesses know what they’re getting into when embracing AI. That means doing comprehensive background research and ensuring that they choose tools that meet their needs and adhere to privacy best practices.

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NBC Grants C54News Nod to Operate in Nigeria



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National Broadcast Commission (NBC) has granted approval to Future One Africa Television (FOA TV), a pan-African television station, to begin operations.

NBC Grants C54News Nod to Operate in Nigeria

This followed a significant investment of $7 million by Idris-Etanami Abiodun Usman, network’s CEO, to establish a state-of-the-art broadcasting facility.

With NBC’s approval, C54News is now cleared to launch its innovative programming, showcasing the diversity and richness of African cultures, talents, and experiences.

The network promises to deliver high-quality content, including news, documentaries, entertainment shows, and more, catering to a diverse audience across the continent.

FOA TV’s cutting-edge technology and creative approach aim to redefine the television landscape in Africa, providing a platform for African voices, stories, and perspectives to shine.

The network has assembled a team of experienced professionals, including renowned journalists, producers, and presenters, to drive its vision forward.

As C54News prepares to take over the airwaves, audiences can expect a fresh and exciting broadcasting experience that reflects the complexity and beauty of Africa.

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