Some Nollywood heavyweights have reacted to the recently released National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) 6th Broadcast Code which takes away their exclusive right to the content they created.
The new code makes exclusivity illegal, compels content sub-licensing and aims to regulate the prices at which content is sub-licensed whether or not they recoup their investment. However some investors and content streaming service providers which include Netflix, Amazon, iROKOtv and Africa Magic see it as a huge threat to their investment as it erodes the possibility of reaping dividends on their investments.
An industry source told Vanguard;
“These sections prohibit broadcasters from entering into rights acquisition agreements that do not allow the sub-licensing of such rights in Nigeria. The implication is that any such agreement entered into is void.”
Another insider who reacted to the new NBC code said sub-licensing will inhibit investments, especially by foreigners in the content creation and broadcasting industry.
“I wasn’t surprised to learn that Netflix and Amazon are fretting. They should fret because they have invested heavily in the acquisition of Nigerian content.
“They are yet to recoup their investments, but you’re saying they must sell to competitors. Do you think other investors will be encouraged to come and invest? No.
“AfricaMagic has spent tonnes of money buying and creating local content. They are right to panic. So is Irokotv.”
A former content producer told the publication that NBC is seeking to turn private enterprise into state property and be the one to determine the scale of dividends an investor should reap on his investment.
Also reacting to this in an Instalive conversation, Ruth Kadiri stated that this will have an adverse effect on actors as many will be forced out of jobs and might be underpaid.
Mary Remmy Njoku, the Director General of ROK Studios stated that though the NBC claimed it is trying to protect local broadcasters, the new policy takes away their negotiating power as the agency seeks to be one to negotiate how much they will sell their content even if they are losing money.
Uche Jombo on her own part accused the agency of trying to make things harder for them even though they’ve not created the enabling environment for the entertainment industry to thrive. She also expressed fear of the new policy hindering growth of the Nigerian movie industry.