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Lagos File Academy urges NBC to suspend newly amended broadcasting code



Lagos Film Academy

The Lagos Film Academy (LFA) has completely condemned the recent amendment to the Sixth Edition of the NBC Code which was announced on May 27, 2020 by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).

The amendment, according to the Co-Founder & Executive Director, Lagos Film Academy, Ruby Igwe, seeks to make content exclusivity illegal and compels right holders to sub-license content they have exclusive rights to, to other broadcasters, at a price enforced by the NBC.

“The LFA sees the new code as problematic and believes the code will negatively impact the lives of Nigerian creatives and content producers who currently struggle with numerous challenges of production and distribution.

“The code will make it even more difficult for operators and investors to derive maximum value from the value chain of content production or broadcast”, Igwe said.

Real growth in the broadcast industry will come from opening up the content production, distribution and broadcasting space by removing unnecessary roadblocks.

LFA also made recommendations to the NBC to:

  • Widen the scope of consultations around the amendment of the broadcasting code. Invite, involve and include real industry players, listen to their genuine concerns and inspire a level playing field.
  • Be a truly neutral industry regulator. Lay the guidelines, stand away and let the players play. NBC should not be involved in fixing sub-licensing prices, as it should be a willing-buyer-to-willing-seller agreement that doesn’t involve the regulatory body.
  • The NBC should formally ban or discourage sale of airtime in the Nigerian broadcast industry. Broadcasters should live or die by their content creation and commissioning. Without a market-driven motivation to invest in content, local broadcasters may simply sit back and collect rent, like the NTA of today does. This singular action will reinvigorate the local content space massively. SABC in South Africa is a worthy case study.

The LFA, therefore, called on the National Broadcasting Commission and the Federal Government to suspend and reverse this recent amendment to the code.