You’ll Soon Have Pay To Watch ‘Free’ TV At Home – FG Speaks

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Here’s the news in brief: Nigerians who own television sets
will soon have to pay “annual content access fee” to improve
content and infrastructure of the country’s broadcasting
stations.

The fee is similar to the TV licence paid in the UK ─ which is
used to fund the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).

As a result, the BBC does not accept advertisements in the
UK because it is financed with tax payers’ money.

Government-owned broadcast stations in Nigeria run on
subventions as well as advertising revenue.

Nigeria currently operates a radio licence regime which is
considered ineffective.

However, the federal government said it would introduce
“content access fee” to replace radio licence fee ahead of
Nigeria’s migration to digital terrestrial television
broadcasting by 2015.

Information minister Labaran Maku made this known at the
opening of the extra ordinary meeting of the National
Council of Information (NCI) in Abuja.

Maku said the planned content access fee, which was
currently undergoing final adjustments, was expected to get
the nod of the federal executive council before the migration.

He said that government and other stakeholders would
leverage on the new technology to make the new format more
effective than the archaic radio licence fees format.

Maku explained: “For a long time radio licences have not
been collected and in other countries the public broadcast
services are run from fees collected on broadcast content.

“But unfortunately in our country, the existing constitutional
provision has made fee collection less effective. “Now, we
are undertaking a new format.

We are taking advantage of the digital technology and
looking beyond sending people to go from place to place to
collect fees for broadcast content.”

According to him, under this new regime, anyone seeking
access to television content has to pay an annual content
access fee.

The minister outlined some of the advantages of the new
broadcast content fee collection regime to include improved
financial capability for stakeholders “to improve content and
upgrade infrastructure”.

He said this would help the Nigeria Broadcasting
Commission and other stakeholders have access to adequate
funds for sustained upgrade of their infrastructure for
effective service delivery.

On the NCI meeting, Maku said Nigeria was at crossroads to
either transit moothly or risk being cut-off from the rest of
the world by June 2015 when the global migration deadline
takes effect.

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