TStv is going to do that thing many Nigerians have been asking for: pay per view in the satellite TV space. For years, the industry leader, DStv, has refused to listen and make it happen. So, the news that the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has promised to support TStv as it launches a par per view service on October 1 will make many people happy.
The Acting Director-General of NBC, Armstrong Idachaba, made the promise on Monday in Abuja when the management team of TStv paid him an official visit to inform him of the company‘s readiness to commence full operation across the country on October 1.
Mr Idachaba said: “We promise on our side that we will continue to support you.
“At this time, I think that the major issue confronting the PayTv sector is the area of giving Nigerians option of deregulating purchasing capacity in terms of pay as you go concept.
“We welcome that option and wish that it serves as stimulant and as progressive index for other PayTv operators to adopt.
“Some of them have come up with a lot of excuses why pay per view is difficult and why it is not doable.
“We want you to be the galvaniser to prove the naysayers wrong that this is doable in the interest of Nigerians.
“Once you begin and you make a success of it through increased subscription base, we are sure that others will be drawn into it as it happened in the telecommunication sector.”
Yet, pay per view will not fix the lack of the religion of European football on any operator. Yes, pay per view is one thing but having the right content is another thing. Glo was a great threat to MTN when it launched per second billing because it matched MTN’s offering very well.
Without European football, the true value of this pay per view may be limited. But before I forget, one company has been giving sub-licenses to some operators in Nigeria; Integral is making it possible for Silverbird to broadcast one Premiership game every week. So, if TStv can get some of those rights, its playbook might open for a flank attack on the MultiChoice empire.
It came from nowhere: market forces are working, not sub-par regulations. Yes, Silverbird Television has signed on to broadcast selected live English Premier League matches over the course of the 2020 – 2021 season. This deal was agreed with Integral, the current free-to-air rights holder for the Premier League matches in Nigeria. Sure, it is just one match per week. But that is an innovator dilemma’s moment for DStv and GOtv. If Integral drops one more for NTA, then you have two matches per week. Then, give AIT one, you have three matches, and just like that, equilibrium is attained and katakata will bust for DStv.
Expect a redesign in the sector: once TStv does it and shows traction, DStv will go all out. The problem is if people will even notice that TStv is offering that value when we are not sure it has paid Ronaldo and Messi enough money, for Nigerians to see them kick round leathers around.