Nigerians have launched attacks at the Federal Government over its new directive to the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), prohibiting exclusivity of sporting rights in the country.
Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, said in a statement on Thursday that broadcasters and exclusive licensees are now mandated to share such rights with other broadcasters to boost reach and also maximise utilisation by all broadcasters of premium content.
Mohammed noted that the goal was to prevent the misuse of monopoly or market power or anti-competitive and unfair practices by a foreign or local broadcaster to suppress other local broadcasters in the television and radio markets in Nigeria.
SuperSport, a sports channel operated by DSTV, had in 2017 renewed rights to broadcast the English Premier League (EPL) in Sub-Saharan Africa, including South Africa, for three seasons 2019/20 to 2021/22. Reports say the exclusive rights were acquired for around $300 million with the EPL being the most followed football league in the region.
Nigerians on Twitter say the new directive could jeopardise the business interest of DSTV and could push the broadcaster out of Nigeria.