Startimes Tasks FG On Broadcast Policies

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Pay TV network, Star Times Nigeria has called on the federal government to consider policy implementation that would support speedy growth of the broadcast industry.

This is as it said despite the challenges in the broadcast industry, it has continued to expand its footprint across the African markets owing to its commitment to innovation and superior technology.

The company’s Chief Operating Officer, Tunde Aina, who made the remarks in a recent chat with journalists, blamed the challenges on poor policy implementation.

He noted that the private sector was in a better position to develop the broadcast industry if government could only come up with policies that are acceptable to all players.

According to him, “Businesses that require a relatively longer time to be profitable also require long term funds at relatively low interest rates. The federal government needs to enable businesses to have access to this type of funds either through local financial institutions if they have the capacity or from foreign financial institutions. Broadcasting infrastructure is almost 100 per cent imported into Nigeria, the current economic policies have made it difficult to meet up our foreign monetary obligations and it’s been very challenging to continue to provide our services at the same cost to our customers.”

Addressing the challenges of broadcast business, Aina said it is capital intensive and takes a relatively long time to recoup investments while stable policies and regulation on the part of government can give investors the confidence to continue to invest in the industry.

“Since we deliver our Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) signals via terrestrial, we are also affected by the shortcomings of any terrestrial signals which rely on line of sight between transmitter and receiver. We are continuously working to improve our signals within the big cities by building more transmitter sites in order to improve signals in identified areas, Aina said.

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In Abuja for example, we are currently building two sites, one in Kuje and the other in Kubwa. We are continually optimizing our coverage in areas where we already operate and are building new sites to cover areas not previously served, Aina added.

He further said: “We recognise that it is almost impossible to cover every inch of Nigerian territory using terrestrial signals, we have therefore provided the Direct to Home (DTH) platform which relies on satellite and covers the entire sub-Saharan African territory.

He however said despite the challenges faced in the broadcast industry, StartTimes would continue to provide quality and innovative services to its customers.

“We have continued to grow stronger and cover more grounds across Africa starting with two countries and now in over thirty countries and very active in over 15 of them,” he added.

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According to him, “Our success story is fuelled by a strong belief and investment in cutting edge technology, life-enriching innovations and quality television entertainment content for our viewing families and households.”

He said the pay Tv has given opportunities to many local channels to start broadcasting localised content at minimal cost, and has also created more than 2,000 direct jobs and more than 20,000 indirect jobbs, enabling new opportunities for actors, actresses and musicians to showcase their talents on many more television platforms and earn more revenue.

The StarTimes boss said as the pioneer digital terrestrial television operator in Nigeria, StarTimes has made pay-tv much more accessible and affordable to the low and middle income class which comprise a greater part of the Nigerian population.


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