The Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) has accused MultiChoice Nigeria Limited, owners and operators of DSTV, of perpetrating bias towards northern media-owned channels on its per-pay-view network services.
In a petition sent to Daily Trust, the national coordinator of the CNG, Balarabe Rufai, expressed worry over the “nepotistic business disposition of MultiChoice” in marginalising the North in the pay TV sector as there are private northern-owned TV brands with the technical, financial and human resource capacity to feature on its platforms. Rufai noted that out of the 135 TV channels on the DSTV, no northern owned TV or Radio channel was brought on board; saying that Arewa24, the only Hausa-speaking channel on the platform, is owned by an American entrepreneur, using the Arewa brand with content, mainly on Hausa drama and music.
“These contents do not in any way portray the socio-economic and political developments of northern Nigeria, which accounts for more than 60 per cent of Nigeria’s population,” he said.
While claiming that North-based stations have done everything to be accommodated on MultiChoice platforms to no avail, he listed channels like DITV and Liberty TV in Kaduna; Rahma TV in Kano; Unity TV in Jos, as well as Tozali TV, that are household name in the region.
When contacted, the head of Corporate Affairs DSTV/MultiChoice Executive, Caroline Oghuma, did not respond to calls to her two official lines nor respond to text messages sent to her.
Meanwhile, the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has called for a meeting between both parties to find solutions to the points raised.
The NBC, in a memo stated, “In furtherance of investigation into your complaints against MultiChoice Nigeria, the acting director-general is inviting your organisation to a meeting with members of his management and MultiChoice Nigeria, with a view to resolving the issues you raised in your petition.”