Inview Launches ‘Free TV’ Digital TV Service in Abuja, Nigeria

INVIEW, the UK-based digital TV software company, is delighted to announce the launch in Abuja of Nigeria’s new digital TV service, known as ‘Free TV’, at an event today in the capital, attended by the country’s Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo.

‘Free TV’, which is being rolled out in partnership with Nigeria’s National Broadcasting Commission, has the potential to become the biggest free-to-air TV platform in the world, and will eventually be available to over 20 million homes and 150 million individuals. ‘Free TV’ was launched in Jos earlier this year, and today’s launch in Abuja is the second phase of the roll out.

Inview is providing the software and technical capability inside the ‘Free TV’ set top boxes which are the cornerstone of the new service. Inview will also operate the EPG and a range of broadcasting applications such as news, public service information, advertising and video on demand.

Nigeria will be adopting a model based on the UK’s Freeview which means customers will only pay for a subsidised set-top box that will cost in the region of $7 and a TV licence fee of approximately $5 a year, instead of paying a monthly subscription fee. There will also be a pay TV option for an additional cost.

As well as providing consumers with a broader range of high-quality TV, including 30 channels with digital quality picture and sound, the new digital TV service will help to underpin growth and job creation in the manufacturing, advertising and TV production industries. All the set top boxes and associated technology will be built in Nigeria and the new service is expected to drive demand for locally-produced content.

The adoption of digital TV will also benefit the Nigerian economy, as it will help to drive diversification from oil to the media and communications industry, while providing the Government with the opportunity to sell off c.$1bn of spare spectrum, as digital channels take up much less spectrum than analogue ones.

Among those losing out will be DVD pirates, as ‘Free TV”s channels are encrypted, so money that could have been skimmed off by pirates can go back into Nollywood and Nigeria’s media industry instead (estimated at c.$250m per annum).

Nick Markham, Chairman of Inview, said: “Free TV’ will bring a world of great entertainment to millions of Nigerians and, thanks to the agreement with Inview, it will all be delivered at an affordable price. At Inview, we have been developing expertise in the mass adoption of digital TV for over 15 years which means we have an unrivalled level of technical, commercial and operational expertise that makes us the ideal partner for this sort of project and others that we are working on in territories around the world.”