For Broadcasting, a story of contradictions and apprehensions

Okoh Aihe

By Okoh Aihe

Understandably, the Nigerian government last week praised emerging media businessman and filmmaker Mo Abudu for reaching a deal with global broadcast team Netflix for the Wole Soyinka screen adaptation. “Death and the King’s Rider” and Lola Shoneyin “The secret lives of Baba Segi’s wives”.

The partnership described by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, as yet another feather for Mo Abudu’s already embellished creative hat, will result in the creation of two original series, as well as multiple movies with the Netflix brand.

“After the first original Netflix movie in Nigeria, Lion heartThis is a great recognition of the immense creative talents that abound in Nigeria and the provision of a global platform for storytelling in Nigeria, “said the Minister enthusiastically.

Forgive my shame. I know very little about Shoneyin’s work, although it may not be for long, but I have been part of a group that produced Death and the horseman of kings on stage, in addition to using it as text at school. The work is a sustained evocative chant, a carefully woven poetic fluidity whose knowledge of entertainment streamlines and accommodates the seriousness of a creative masterpiece and cultural landmark. Every time I ask myself, at what spiritual level was Soyinka operating when he created that masterpiece?

The answer may never come, but faithfully interpreting that work with a certain level of audacity and a bit of cinematic genius and technology may perhaps transmute the work into a new era of cultural appreciation, acceptance and preservation. It will transcend time and generations and reach our children in the language they understand.

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This type of association is an affirmation of the cultural buoyancy of the country that can only attract more interests inside and outside the country, as it will provide very rich entertainment content for television. Will this work enjoy the protection of the sixth edition of the Broadcasting code?

This question may irritate some people who believe that the new Broadcasting code It is already sacrosanct, if it can ever be a document. the Code Recently launched it has attracted very sharp reactions from different industry stakeholders. For some, the real deal has come for Nollywood to start making money, while for others, it’s like a satanic verse book – it will scare investors.

Generally speaking, there is superficiality in our response to a very complicated document rather than robust circumspection in looking at the details that, as they say, always harbor the devil. And there are many in this document that make it worrying for a section of the industry.

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But there is what appears to be a measured response from Mr. Godfrey Ohuabunwa, President of the Nigerian Licensed STB Manufacturers Association, who is also the Vice President of the Nigerian Broadcasting Organization (BON). “On the issue of monopoly and what the Code seeks to achieve,” Ohuabunwa explained, “the amended Code is in our favor.

It discourages content storage and creates more business for both the platform owner and broadcasters. It is not in any way against competition or investment. The bottom line is that from now on you should sublet to other platforms and give subscribers and customers of all levels the opportunity to view the content while still making money from everyone. “

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Founder of IrokotTV, Jason Njoku is not so fascinated with development, but rather expressed disgust and apprehension when unleashing a Twitter blitz. “The Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC), by making exclusivity illegal, sub-licensing content and regulating price, is effectively making private companies state-owned. Interference distorts markets. If implemented, this 100% destroys Pay TV in Nigeria. “

There are quite a few other reactions. For example, the amendment giving filmmakers and broadcasters the opportunity to earn more from advertising has presented an attractive appeal to the industry with some members already pushing the calculator to find out how much they are owed in the short term. term.

But in trying to allay industry concerns on Monday, the Acting Director General of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Professor Armstrong Idachaba, reported that the amendments were being carried out for the benefit of various stakeholders in the broadcasting industry.

“The Commission wishes to reiterate the fact that the objectives of the amendments are in our best national interest. We currently have a highly skilled and highly talented creative industry in Nigeria, but the facts remain that content producers cannot reap the benefits of their creative endowment due in large part to monopolistic constraints and anti-competitive behavior. The current amendment aims to reposition the Nigerian broadcast industry and make it more responsive to emerging realities, “he said.

Armstrong anchored his position in Sections 6.2.8. and 9.0.1, which particularly prohibits exclusivity in the industry, especially 9.0.1, which states that “an Announcer or licensee shall immediately after the entry into force of this Amendment be prohibited from making informal agreements, written and oral agreements, explicit or implicit understandings or the implementation of concerted practices, either exclusively or between market actors whose object, intention, effect or purpose is the restriction of competition, the abuse of a dominant position or substantial market power or create barriers to entry in the media industry in Nigeria. “

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How this works will be developed in the coming days. As things stand, many players are digging deep and taking very firm positions on how to handle what a tinder situation foretells for a small spark. But a common feature at the center of this thunderous development is that, at the end of the day, all parties, regardless of concerns, will have to submit to modern business practices that are based on profit and shared interests.

The publication For Broadcasting, a story of contradictions and apprehensions, first appeared in News.


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