Nigeria’s National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has partnered with a UK-based digital TV software company to launch a free-to-air TV platform.
Free TV has been set up by NBC alongside Inview, which has used the UK’s Freeview service as a template for the new digital TV platform.
Inview says Free TV has the potential to become the biggest free-to-air TV platform in the world, and will be available to more than 20 million homes and 150 million individuals.
It was launched in Jos earlier this year and yesterday’s launch in Abuja marked the second phase of the roll-out.
Inview is providing the software and technical capability inside the Free TV set-top boxes which are the cornerstone of the new service.
Inview will also operate the EPG and a range of broadcasting applications such as news, public service information, advertising and video-on-demand.
Customers will only pay for a subsidised set-top box that will cost in the region of US$7 and a TV licence fee of about US$5 a year, instead of paying a monthly subscription fee. There will also be a pay TV option for an additional cost.
As well as providing consumers with a broader range of high-quality TV, including 30 channels with digital quality picture and sound, the new digital TV service will help to underpin growth and job creation in Nigeria’s manufacturing, advertising and TV production industries.
All the set-top boxes and associated technology will be built in Nigeria and the new service is expected to drive demand for locally produced content.
Nick Markham, chairman of Inview, said: “Free TV will bring a world of great entertainment to millions of Nigerians and, thanks to the agreement with Inview, it will all be delivered at an affordable price.”
“At Inview, we have been developing expertise in the mass adoption of digital TV for over 15 years, which means we have an unrivalled level of technical, commercial and operational expertise that makes us the ideal partner for this sort of project and others that we are working on in territories around the world.”