Nigerian govt bans exclusive sports broadcasting rights

The Nigerian government has banned exclusivity for broadcast rights to sports events, reports Communications Week. The Minister of Information and Culture Minister Alhaji Lai Mohammed said the regulations prevent the abuse of monopoly or market power, or anti-competitive and unfair practices, by a foreign or local broadcaster to remove other local broadcasters in the television and radio markets.

Mohammed has made it mandatory to share all content with payment of commercially viable fees. He said the new regulations are contained in the report of the committee he set up to define how to implement the recommendations approved by President Muhammadu Buhari to reposition the broadcasting industry. The Minister inaugurated the NBC reform implementation committee on October 10, 2019 and the committee presented its report on November 19, 2019.

The minister stressed that breaking the monopoly would increase the reach and maximize the use by all broadcasters of premium content, in order to expand their platforms and invest in other content. High-level sporting events, especially for beloved sports such as football, are currently only available to DSTV subscribers. More specifically, DSTV has a monopoly on the live broadcasting of the English Premier League and the UEFA Champions League in Nigeria.