Minister Restates FG Commitment To Digital TV Broadcasting Revolution 

Yem Izuora

Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has reiterated Federal Government’s desire to vigorously implement a comprehensive nationwide process of transitioning from analogue to digital television broadcasting, which is referred to as the Digital Switchover (DSO) project.

Speaking at the DSO event in Kano on Tuesday, Mohammed, explained that the decision to transition from analogue to digital television followed a treaty that was signed at the Regional Radiocommunication Conference (RRC-06) in Geneva, Switzerland, on June 16, 2016 to usher in ‘all-digital’ terrestrial broadcast services for

sound and television.

This is aimed at creating a more equitable, just and people-centered Information Society, which would connect underserved populations and remote communities, thereby bridging the digital divide.

He listed key benefits of digital television broadcasting to include, Wider choice in TV and radio channels; Improved picture, e.g. HD, UHD and High-Fidelity sound, Greater flexibility with the potential for portable and mobile reception; Enhanced information services including the Electronic Programming, Guide or enhanced ‘teletext’ services (with enhanced graphics); Potential for interactivity; and Increased market competition and innovation.

Additionally, he said the DSO process can enable a variety of competing

service offers, improve digital service coverage even in remote

places, and improve access to communication networks while acting as a

catalyst for better management of spectrum resources. Due to bandwidth

restrictions, analogue television only offers a small selection of

programs and is therefore outmoded.

The same transmission channel used to broadcast a single analogue program can carry a multiplex of up to 20 digital programmes of better quality. Thus, the DSO television platform, branded as  FreeTV, provides users with over 60 digital

channels, ranging from sports and music to movies and the latest headlines. Both DTT and DTH transmissions of FreeTV are readily available throughout the country.

In addition to the broadcast services, FreeTV offers Value Added

Services such as Enforcement & Collection of TV Licenses, Premium PayTV channels, Push Video on Demand, Information Services, and Audience Measurement.

The Minister said the Federal Government is prioritizing the DSO project because it

is critical to the post-Covid recovery and prosperity of the Creative

Industry.

“The Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, working

with its relevant agencies – NBC and APCON – has commenced the process

of implementing Audience Measurement, which will go a long way in

driving advertising spend to the DSO platform, thus helping the

channels to fulfill their obligations to the Signal Distributors.

“We have also instituted a number of reforms, some of them necessitating

amendments to the Broadcasting Code which we have since carried out,

with a view to encouraging investments in the Broadcast Industry in

particular and the Creative Industry in general.” he said.

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