I was caught by this article on Vanguardngr.com that highlighted the growing concern over the acquisition of a distressed South African cable TV known as TopTV by Startimes, Nigeria’s most affordable satellite TV network.
The reason for the concern as many would know by now, was the fact that TopTV was recently licensed to broadcast 3 adult channels – Playboy TV, Desire TV and Private Spice in South Africa. The distressed Pay-TV owned by On Digital Media had faced battles over the decision to launch the adult channels. They eventually got the license despite attempts to frustrate their effort. The launch of these adult channels was a move to try and kick-start On Digital Media’s financial recovery which was going down the drain.
What a dirty cheap remedy.
But that didn’t seem to be enough to lift the company out of its financial doldrums.
Enter Startimes to rescue as reported by the vanguard:
“Earlier this month, shareholders of On Digital Media, ODM, voted to accept the business rescue plan offered by Chinese company, Star Times. ODM has been distressed and in business rescue since last October.
The development has raised palpable fears that the Chinese pay TV operator may include the Top TV porn channels in its Nigerian bouquet offerings.
But spokesman of StarTimes Nigeria, Ayokunle Idowu, in a telephone conversation said his company had no such plans.
“We have no such plans. Apart from that, I’m sure the National Broadcasting Commission, NBC, will not approve such,” he said.
But aggressive marketing of its T-1 decoders at N3,000 fuel fears that addition of the hard core channels will drive up subscription.”
I suspect something afoot and the truth being withheld.
Years back when Startimes first debuted in Nigeria, it was mostly Alaba marketers and small time dealers that were peddling its service then and one of the main things being highlighted that made many to subscribe to it was the fact that it had porn stations. This pushed the sales of the Startimes decoder back then. On partnering with the Nigerian Television Network (NTA ), the porn channels suddenly stopped airing.
Could it be because the government was now involved that the porn stations disappeared?
Now Startimes had grown bigger as one of the major players in the Pay-TV business and is buying up TopTV, the South African station licensed to air porn channels. Fears are being expressed because we are a society where our moral values do not allow it.
According to another excerpt from the Vanguardngr.com:
“The approval for the X-rated channels also sparked the anger of the South Africa’s Muslim Judicial Council, MJC, which described it as “inconsistent”. Nabeweya Mallick, spokesperson for the MJC, said the council was “disappointed,” at ICASA’s (Independent Communications Authority of South Africa) insensitivity to the rights of tastes of religious and race groups and cultures.” [Emphasis mine]
If South Africa’s Muslim community could raise noise over the approval of the approval of the airing of these stations, imagine what the Nigerian Muslim community would do if the channels kick off here.
That would probably give the Boko Haram insurgents more reasons to bomb more places in Nigeria.
I hope Ayokunle Idowu is telling us the truth…because if it’s a lie, we should all get ready for the worst.