New NBC code will destroy Pay TV – iROKOtv CEO, Jason Njoku

Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of video-on-demand movie platform, iROKOtv, Jason Njoku, has warned that the future of pay television could be jeopardised by the 6th Nigeria Broadcasting Commission (NBC) Code.

The code, which was released to the public by the NBC on May 27, has received widespread disapproval.

Regulations in the code include the prohibition of exclusivity, compelling content sub-licensing to competitors among others.

Tweeting on Wednesday, Mr Njoku berated the government for the idea, saying platforms such as Africa Magic, Filmhouse Cinema, Netflix, iROKOtv among others would have no option but to stop investing in local content.

“Nigeria Broadcasting Commission (NBC), in making exclusivity illegal, compelling sub-licensing of content and regulating price is effectively turning private enterprise into state property,” he wrote.

“Interference distorts markets. If implemented, this 100% destroys Pay TV in Nigeria.

“Under these proposed terms, it makes zero sense for @irokotv @ROK_DSTV @NetflixNaija @irokotv @africamagictv @FilmhouseCinema @SilverbirdTV @SceneoneTV or any other platform or independent production house to invest in local content. Zero sense. No consultation no thought. Nothing.”

Njoku also warned that popular programmes on Pay TV platforms might be interrupted to allow the broadcast of political rallies and other ‘national emergencies’ as provided by the code.

“For ‘national emergencies’, 20% of broadcast hours should be dedicated to well… the government. Nationalization in everything but name,” he said.

The NBC Code stipulates that refusal to comply will lead to consumer deprivation and the imposition of a N10 million fine.