Why TB Joshua’s Emmanuel TV was kicked out of DStv, GOtv

TB Joshua
TB Joshua

Details have emerged on the exit of Emmanuel TV, a broadcast channel founded by the late Prophet TB Joshua of the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN), from pay cable TV platforms including DStv and GOtv.

The church announced the exit on its social media pages on December 26, 2023.

“Accessing Emmanuel TV is about to become more versatile, more convenient, and more reliable! Emmanuel TV will no longer air on DStv and GOtv (DTH & DTT) from the 17th of January 2024 at 10:59pm GMT +1, and subsequently on all other pay cable tv platforms,” its post read.

The SCOAN did not give reasons for its action.

However, the news of the channel’s exit from DStv and GOtv, owned by Multichoice, got wide attention after the BBC Africa Eye documentary was published on January 8, 2024. Many believed the channel’s exit was connected to the documentary which accused Joshua of rape, torture, and forced abortions among others.

Online news medium TheCable reported on Thursday, January 25 that Multichoice informed Emmanuel TV in August 2023 that the channel would be removed from its platforms if the viewership figures did not improve.

A senior member of SCOAN, who did not want to be identified, was quoted as saying: “Last year, we got a letter dated 7 August 2023 from MultiChoice Nigeria Limited regarding the channel distribution agreement between MultiChoice Africa (Proprietary) Limited and Emmanuel Global Network South Africa entered into on 29 October 2015.

“The letter was signed by Mr John Ugbe, the Nigeria CEO. He said the metrics of all channels on DStv and GOtv platforms are monitored by the Multichoice regularly and that Emmanuel TV was performing poorly.”

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The source said Emmanuel TV was given November 8, 2023, for another performance review, after which Multichoice served notice that the channel would be discontinued.

“Multichoice wrote us again on 7 December 2023 saying that they had concluded the reassessment of Emmanuel TV’s performance between 7 August 2023 and 8 November 2023. They concluded that the channel had not met the 90-day improvement targets and would be discontinued effective 17 January 2024,” the official said.

The source further said that on December 22, 2023, Emmanuel TV responded, urging Multichoice to announce it as “Emmanuel TV Channel Exit” and not “Emmanuel TV Channel Termination”.

Informing its subscribers of the development via SMS, Multichoice said, “Dear DStv Customer, please be advised that Emmanuel TV (DStv channel 390) will no longer be available from 17 January, 2024 at 10.59. Please, visit dstv.com to check our latest content line-up.”