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Nigeria: HITV On With Premiership

HITV, a Nigerian-owned communication firm, has concluded arrangements to beam eight matches of the English Premiership, live, every weekend on its terrestrial and digital satellite cable network

Unfolding this development weekend in Lagos, the Managing Director of HITV, Toyin Subair also unfolded the firm's plan to roll out its service on the Direct To Home Satellite network, on August 1, a development which means that its service can be assessed at any location in the world.

Speaking at the Planet One Entertainment Centre in Maryland, Subair, also announced that HITV is going to give 100,000 decoders and dishes free as part of its contributions towards the cheap and easy acquisition of satellite transmission by Nigerians, desirous of watching top-notch matches from the English Premiership, the Spanish La Liga and the Italian Serie A.

On its plans to beam eight matches of the Premiership, which has top Nigerian acts like Nwankwo Kanu, Yakubu Aiyegbeni, Obafemi Martins, John Utaka, to mention a few, all starring for different clubs, Subair said HITV has the exclusive rights to beam the most matches in the highly sought-after club football property in the form, adding that dedicated sports channels were going to come upstream on August 1 to achieve the aim of ensuring that Nigerians watch the said matches, without paying through their nose.

"There are 38 weeks of the English Premiership and on any given weekend, there are at most ten matches to be seen by viewers. In Nigeria, we have the rights to show eight of these matches live and we also have the privilege of showing the top matches.

"It is also pertinent to note that we have the exclusive rights to show the Spanish League in Africa, which means that the matches cannot be shown by any other broadcaster without our due consent. We are also going to show the Italian first division league and it promises to be a massive celebration of soccer on our sporting channels, beginning August 11, when the English Premiership stars", added Subair.

Speaking on its decoder offer, the HITV boss said that 100,000 decoders and dish would be given to people signing up for a year’s subscription, at the rate of N3,000 (US$24) per month, noting that instead of paying N33,000 (US$264) for the acquisition of its system, inclusive of a month's subscription that a customer can watch the best of satellite television with just N36,000 (US$288) for 12 months.

"This is our own little way of supporting the development of satellite television in the country. We are Nigerians, who want to afford our countrymen the best of television, as cheap as you can get it", he said.

(Vanguard (Lagos), 16 July 2007)

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