The Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) yesterday threatened to shut down ABG Communications/QTV in Kaduna for illegally broadcasting contents that are not theirs without obtaining licence from the company exclusively licensed to do so in Nigeria.
Speaking after a surveillance visit on ABG communications transmission site in Kaduna, the Commission’s director of enforcement, Mr. Augustine Amodu, said that the commission has received letters of complaint from Aljazeera, Bein sports, Sky sports and Canal Plus among others that their contents are being broadcasted by ABG illegally.
“The Commission handed a letter to the workers of ABG Communications and QTV Satellite summoning the management to NCC headquarters in Abuja.
“We are a law enforcement agents, as such, what we should have done primarily was to pull down your transmission station. The Commission is the institution mandated by the federal Government to enforce the laws on copyrights in the country and we have suspected your company for pirating the contents of other companies, especially Multi-choice Company who have the exclusive license to transmit such contents in Nigeria.
“After doing vigilant surveillance and investigation, we have found out that the original and rightful owner of the contents you are transmitting is Multi-choice company. But, ABG has gone behind without getting due licensing from Multi-choice to continue to operate on the cable of multi-choice. The only people with the exclusive license to broadcast European Premier League (EPL), UEFA, Laliga and championship among others is Multi-choice Nigeria. So, we are here to issue a very stern warning to you to desist from this illegal act or run the risk of been shut down,” he warned.
Piracy according to him is a cancer worm that has eaten deep into the fabric of the nation.
“With the present government of President Muhammadu Buhari (Rtd) focus on diversification, if people don’t go to get contents and they steal other people’s content to broadcast, there is discouragement; then the issue of diversification becomes a child’s play. Nigeria must diversify and the only way to do that is for the NCC to continue to protect creativity,” Amodu stressed.
Earlier, the Multi-choice Company representative, Umar Ibrahim explained that in broadcast industry, everybody has the right to buy contents and that contents are exclusive to a particular broadcast station.
“Metro Digital which is also known as QTV are not broadcasting contents that are theirs. As you can see at their transmission site, they have Beinsport decoders which has the singular right to broadcast in the Middle East, Skysport decoders and DSTV boxes in their transmission station. That buttresses the fact that they are stealing other peoples’ contents to broadcast for monetary value.
“Multi-choice Nigeria has the exclusive right to broadcast these contents, but ABG is now operating on signals and contents that is not theirs. Everybody knows that DSTV has the exclusive right to broadcast EPL matches, championship matches, Lalliga and other contents but it has been proved that ABG/QTV have illegally been broadcasting these contents in Kaduna and environs through piracy and that was why we petitioned the Copyrights Commission to deal with this problem,” he said.