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Netflix, African Magic, iROKOtv Set To Leave Nigeria. See Why


Content streaming service providers, Netflix and Amazon, as well as pay television channels, iROKOtv and Africa Magic are considering halting further investments in the Nigerian content industry, Vanguard has learnt.

The four platforms, Vanguard exclusively gathered, have been forced to consider discontinuation of investments in Nigeria because of the 6th Broadcast Code recently released by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).

Creative and broadcasting industry sources disclosed that four platforms, which have invested enormously in local content production that are exclusive to them, are convinced that the new broadcast code is a huge threat to their investments, as it seeks to end exclusivity to broadcast properties and compel re-sale or sub-licensing to other broadcasters, including direct competitors.

Sources told our correspondent that the new code makes exclusivity illegal, compels content sub-licensing and aims to regulate the prices at which content is sub-licensed.

As claimed by industry source, the broadcast platforms view Sections 9.0.1 to 9.0.3 of the broadcast code represent a direct assault on investors, as it erodes the possibility of reaping dividends on their investments.

“These sections prohibit broadcasters from entering into rights acquisition agreements that do not allow the sub-licensing of such rights in Nigeria. The implication is that any such agreement entered into is void,” she explained.

An Enugu-based industry source also reasoned that Sections 9.1.1.8 to 9.1.1.11 of the Code are most injurious to investors in the industry.

The sections provide that a broadcaster must sub-license a programme in any genre if such enjoys massive viewership among Nigerians.

The implication of this, explained the source, is that investors, who fund the development of hit movies, series and shows, will be forced to sub-license that programme irrespective of whether or not they have recouped their investments.

“This isn’t just silly, but also wicked. It amounts to uncompensated use of intellectual property. The proper thing is for a broadcaster to freely bid for, negotiate or acquire rights at prices dictated by the market and on terms acceptable to channel suppliers,” he said.

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