HS Media Group, a sports marketing and broadcasting company, has enjoined the federal government to strategically support the local industry to boost competitiveness in sports broadcasting in the country.

The company, which provided live broadcast for the Africa Cup of Nations held in Egypt last year, urged the government to empower and reposition the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), the country’s major public broadcaster.

Taye Ige, the chief executive officer (CEO) of the company, stated such support would enhance NTA’s chances of bidding for sports broadcast rights of premium tournaments such as the English Premier League, the Spanish LaLiga.

He added that such would also consolidate NTA’s existing partnership with Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA) and the Confederation of African Football (CAF).

Making a case for government’s support for local broadcasters, Ige said NTA has the competences, equipment and the reach to provide viewing experience for Nigerians in every corner of the country, while other stations would benefit from the rights.

He said that liberation of the Nigerian economy has worked positively for the country in several aspects, making reference to the telecommunication sector where opening up the industry has encouraged competitiveness among players and multiple choices by the consumers.

Ige, however, urged the government to be cautious by not breaching the spirit of liberalisation through an immediate review of ongoing broadcasting right.

“In the case of SuperSport for instance, the exclusive right to air the English Premier League for sub-Saharan Africa is expected to run till 2022,” he said.

“The government should allow that contract to run its full course while preparing the Nigerian broadcast sector for the next bid round. The government should remember that right issues are purely economic decisions that cannot be regulated by fiat but by market forces.”

Ige advised that the government should encourage broadcast operators in the country to become competitive with their foreign counterparts in line with the pronouncement by Lai Mohammed, minister of information and culture, to reposition the industry.

“It is gladdening to hear the Minister of Information and Culture say that the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) would immediately implement measures aimed creating jobs, promoting local content, boosting the advert industry and bringing the broadcast industry up to par with the best practices from around the world. I will therefore expect the government to follow its words with action by aggressively supporting local broadcast entities in all ways,” he said.

NTA and HotSports, a subsidiary of HS Media Group, founded in 1996, jointly provided live broadcast for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.



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