FG pledges to hasten DSO process
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has said that the Federal Government would no longer delay with the Digital Switch Over (DSO) process, which would offer Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) to all.
He said this yesterday at the 18th Annual General Meeting and 72nd General Assembly of the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON) at the TVC Broadcasting Centre in Lagos.
The minister said, “Though the process has stalled for over a decade, we need to become players in this as we prepare customers who will buy the data once the switch-over is successful.
“We are going to bring 180 million people together with technology. It is the time people began to get paid for their creativity. We need to increase local production. It is time for broadcasters to invest in the best equipment. The poor should benefit from the subsidy we are giving.”
Mohammed said though the broadcasting industry was highly dependent on advertising, there was a need for revenues to filter down to those who make the content.
Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Lagos, Folashade Jaji, lamented that Nigeria could not afford to be a spectator in the global digital transformation process.
She said, “Technology has brought about innovation. Today, many countries have completely turned off analog broadcasting. The transition from analog to digital broadcasting is now.”
CEO of TVC Communications, Mr. Andrew Hanlon, said that the DTT could also present huge risks and substantial costs.
DTT comes with the opportunity of the improved picture and sound quality, High Definition (HD) broadcasting, the ability to launch new channels to the consumer, among others.
He added, “The spectre of increased operating and transmission costs against the backdrop of a stagnant economy and a contracting advertising market is not something any of us in this room will welcome.
“Switching off analog transmitters, which we currently own and operate, and then handing over our picture signals to third party transmission operators, is not for the faint-hearted, and will require expert negotiation with regard to Service Level Agreements with transmission suppliers, coupled with assurances on the affordability and availability of set-top boxes, so that hard-pressed TV viewers across Nigeria do not lose out on the lifeline that is, free-to-air TV,” he said.
Hanlon urged the broadcasters to protect their businesses and the millions of viewers who rely on them for news, information, and entertainment.