COVID-19: NBC directs GOTv, DSTV, Startimes, others to allow local stations run without subscription

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In a bid to allow Nigerians have the benefit of daily update on the 2019 novel coronavirus, the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), has directed GOTv, DSTV, NTA Startimes, FreeTv Platform and others, to allow local stations on their bouquet run even after subscribers have exhausted their subscription.

This is even as the NBC mandated broadcasters in the country to allot 10 per cent of its daily airtime to the public enlightenment of Nigerians on COVID-19.

In a statement issued in Abuja and made available to our correspondent, the NBC said the decryption is to last for one month in the first instance, while adding that further directives shall be issued by the commission after detailed assessments of subsequent development.

“The National Broadcasting Commission calls on all Pay Subscription Broadcasters (GOTv, DSTV, NTA Startimes, FreeTv Platform, etc) in Nigeria to decrypt all local channels on their bouquet to enable subscribers to their services in Nigeria access, without hindrances, daily reports and directives on the coronavirus pandemic.

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“The decryption is to last for one month, in the first instance. Further directives on this shall be issued by the commission after detailed assessments of subsequent development,” the NBC said.

The NBC further recalled its earlier request that broadcast stations ensure timely basic information and updates on COVID-19.

It added that daily broadcast monitoring reports so far indicated that broadcast stations across the country have been giving detailed reportage on the campaign for awareness on the 2019 novel coronavirus.

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The NBC however said it noted with dismay that a few broadcasters aired unsubstantiated news and names of persons purportedly infected by the virus without required professional authentication.

“Broadcasters are further mandated to allot, at least, 10 percent of their daily airtime to public enlightenment on the virus, in line with national interest and social responsibility, as enshrined in the Nigeria Broadcasting Code.

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“The commission commends broadcasters that have remained steadfast and displayed professionalism this period,” the management of NBC added.

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