I wrote on how the new Nigeria Broadcasting Code could destroy innovation in the PayTv sector. For the other side of that story, I have been waiting for when we would hear from the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), the custodian of the code. Mr. Armstrong Idachaba, the Director-General of NBC, has now responded via an interview at The Osasu Show. Of course, he defended the amendments to the broadcasting code which bans exclusive content on Pay TV among other components.
PayTV players like DSTV and GOtv are now banned from having exclusive sporting content in Nigeria. Upon paying pounds, euro and dollars, the companies are required to share content with local players like NTA. More so, if they pay for La Liga Spanish football league, they are required to spend at least 30% of the amount on the Nigerian league.
Yes, if everyone has access to the same contents, we can remove all the logos as all players have been unified. Why invest $1,000 to create content your competitor can get for $300 when you are done? The world lived as an inventive society for centuries, with no innovation, until property rights began to emerge in some areas. The difference between Elon Musk and Tesla is property rights.
Most men who pioneered the fundamental elements of chemistry and physics died poor as no one gave them money to commercialize their ideas. And the reason that happened was that the merchants who had the money did not see how they could recoup their investments if anyone could have access to steal the innovations after they had funded them.
Then, towards the end of the 18th century, property rights began to emerge, giving makers and their backers legal protections to maximally profit from their ideas. That singular move changed the world, turning it from an inventive society into an innovation one. If you look at the gross world product (the combined GDPs of nations) over the last 2,000 years, the curve moved from being flat to an exponential one, around 1800. What happened was evident: men and women became greedy for the love of money and went out and fixed market frictions via products and services, knowing that doing so would make them rich.
Who will waste time creating/acquiring content in Nigeria when everyone can get it for nothing? I get you…