THE Appeal Court sitting in Port Harcourt has ordered MultiChoice to sub-license its channels to Metro Digital, pursuant to the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC) Code.
In a ruling on Wednesday, Justice Olabode Adegbehingbe ordered the NBC to compel MultiChoice to comply with the court order within 21 days.
MultiChoice is the South African owner of the satellite television services, DStv and GOtv.
DStv and GOtv are popular subscription-based platforms in Nigeria.
Metro Digital had approached a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt after MultiChoice rejected its request for the sub-licensing rights to retail some of MultiChoice’s channels and programmes to its subscribers.
But MultiChoice Nigeria had claimed that channels for which Metro Digital sought sub-licensing rights are not owned by it.
Not satisfied with MultiChoice’s reason for the rejection, the company approached the federal high court for redress.
In 2021, the court dismissed Metro Digital’s case, stating that the cable television operator had failed to contradict MultiChoice’s claim of lack of ownership rights/sub-licensing rights to the content sought.
Not satisfied with the federal high court judgment, Metro Digital took the matter to the Court of Appeal, which has now ordered MultiChoice to sub-license the requested channels to the plaintiff.
Amos Abba is a journalist with the International Center for Investigative Reporting, ICIR, who believes that courageous investigative reporting is the key to social justice and accountability in the society.