TSTv launches in Nigeria, gets tax relief from government

Kevin Arrix

The much publicized Pay Tv in town TSTv has finally launched on its proposed independence day date with the Federal Government of Nigeria granting it a 3-year tax relief as well as tax free dividends to all investors in the company.

TSTv enters the Nigerian market in a fashion that many analyst and subscribers to pay tv have described as a new day in the entertainment industry.

“The important thing about what Echefu has done today is that he has redefined the pay per view television industry and from today that industry will never remain the same again, Minister of Information and culture, Lai mohammed said at the unveiling ceremony in Abuja.

The pay as you go as the real deal while many would-be subscribers have expressed various reasons they might try out TStv on its October launch, the pay as you go proposition of the company has come out to be the most significant of all its promises.

TStv is promising its prospective subscribers that it will be offering a pay as you go model where subscribers will only pay for what they choose to watch. This is a big deal to average payTV subscribers in Nigeria due to Nigeria’s epileptic power supply and busy/stressful lifestyle of many people in cities such as Lagos where an average person spends close to five hours of their 24 hours in traffic every working day.

The company’s decoder (set-top box) will also offer data with WiFi capabilities for subscribers to make video calls and Internet access at home. With a maximum of NGN3,000 per month, subscribers will have 20 gigabytes of data credits. There are no detailed information if they will pay something extra for these ‘perks’

Mohammed further said: “What he has done is to democratise the media and entertainment industry and make it possible for even a peasant farmer to have access to the best entertainment and news in the world.

“It is a great opportunity for me to be the one to unveil TStv because just like a Nigerian made history by crashing the cost of telephony in Nigeria, I am glad that another Nigerian is now coming forward to crash the cost of Pay TV,” he noted.

NAN reports that the minister also commended the courage of the investor for coming from the Diaspora to invest in his country and for believing in the government’s seriousness about diversifying the economy.

He said the company had also demonstrated that government alone could not do all things but needed the participation and synergy of the private sector.

“I want to assure that this administration will continue to assist you and other investors in creating the enabling environment for businesses to grow,” he said.

The minister said that the government was aware of the huge contributions of the creative industry to the nation’s economy and would continue to support the sector.

However, he identified contents and the lack of objective audience measurement as major challenges that had retarded the growth of TV and advertising industries in the country.

“With the liberalisation of the industry, content has become very key because content determines which channels are being watched and which are not.

“Another major challenge is how to get an accurate measurement of which channel is being watched and which is not.

“Kenya and South Africa are about one third of our population but they do much better in TV and radio advertisement than us because of their robust audience measurement,” he said.

The minister announced that the National Broadcasting Commission and his ministry would organise a workshop on Nov. 28 to address the challenge of audience measurement.