MultiChoice Nigeria warns of dangers of ending exclusive rights
13 February 2020
MultiChoice Nigeria has warned that damage could result from the government's decision to end exclusive rights to broadcast major sporting events in the country, according to Gadget. MultiChoice has said that investment in sports rights has a massive impact on the sports economy. It provides substantial revenues for national sporting bodies, which sustain thousands of jobs throughout the value chain.
Joe Heshu, MultiChoice group executive for corporate affairs, told Gadget that the sports economy enables the discovery of talent on and off the field, develops infrastructure, and uplifts communities. Heshu said the African sports economy is largely funded through the sale of broadcasting rights.
In January, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture, had instructed the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to implement a regulation mandating exclusive licensees and broadcasters to share rights with other broadcasters.
The intention was to break up a broadcasting monopoly in order to "boost reach and maximise utilisation by all Nigeria’s broadcasters of quality content, in order to grow their respective platforms and investment in more content". Gadget said the clear target is MultiChoice, which has a monopoly on broadcasting English Premier League football matches. These rights are regarded as the crown jewel for MultiChoice across Africa, as it is one major and immensely popular feature that cannot be offered by streaming video-on-demand services at this stage.