Nigeria: HiTV to Shine With Live Matches

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Nigerian pay television operator, HITV, has announced a new regime of live broadcast of the Barclays (English) Premier League, which kicks off this weekend, August 12, 2007 with the transmission of eight live and exclusive games.

Speaking in Lagos recently Subair confirmed that the new cable television has eight live matches of the premiership every week. This, he stated constitutes 80 percent of the games. "There are 380 matches in the premiership season. HiTV has 80 percent of this which translates to eight live games every week. This is in the package A which we won in an open competitive bidding. I am also proud to announce to you that we have the important games of the premiership." He explained that this leaves out just 20 percent, which is only two games a week to whom it may concern to pick up.

Contrary to claims by rival operator, Multichoice, owners of Supersports that it still has right to broadcast many matches of the premiership Subair hinted that it may have picked up the rights of the two other matches which are in package B of the league. He also stated that the new regime of rights allows one free to air match every week for local television stations to exploit including weekly highlights. This is what the Nigeria Television Authority, NTA, and stations on the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria, BON, Network are going to show.

Already HiTV has begun a campaign to create awareness for the new regime of live broadcast which begins on Sunday, August 12. The campaign underlines that it has eight exclusive games in what it calls seven hours of weekend football feast.

Also the young company, in answering the call by football fans outside Lagos to extend its services across the country, would be launching its satellite platform this week before the commencement of the league.

HiTV would be delivering to local homes with its own dedicated sports channels the Spanish La Liga, the Italian Serie A, the English Premier League, the American NBA basketball, other sports like wrestling and first class tennis action.

The management of the firm equally restated its commitment to bringing the games at affordable price of N3, 000 monthly subscription. The Managing Director of HiTV says that bringing down the price of pay TV is the aim of his company, "to give to Nigerians the most correct and best quality premium television programming at the right and the most affordable price."

At the launch of HiTV, owned by Entertainment Highway Limited, EHL, in February former Minister of Information and Communication, Frank Nweke Jnr decried the situation where Nigerians have to pay exorbitant amount for TV, saying it is the most expensive in the world.

Among the channels HiTV would be delivering to local homes with the aid of this technology and on its Direct to Home, DTH, are EuroSports News, Foxsports, CNN, BBC, Sky News, HI Kids, Hi Nolly, Hi Life and its own dedicated sports channels- Hi Soccer, Hi Sports and Hi Sports 2 to deliver the Spanish La Liga, the Italian Serie A, the English Premier League, the American NBA basketball, other sports like wrestling and tennis.
(Vanguard (Lagos), 7 August 2007)