Written by: Oluwatosin Adeshokan
Social Media Week Lagos opened for 2018 with a discussion between Channels’ TV CEO, John Momoh and Claudine Moore, managing director of C. Moore Media about the Future of Broadcast Media.
“As of 2004, we [Channels TV] were the first TV station in Nigeria to start streaming in the whole of Nigeria,” Momoh said. This discussion centered around how Nigerian broadcasters have and in the future will move towards breaking the ever changing shape of consumer behaviour regarding TV content. Right now, Channels TV is leading the revolution in Nigeria. Through their digital subsidiary company, IDS Africa, the company’s TVNow app employs AI in monitoring and analysing viewing patterns to target and retain its audiences. This is because times have changed from the early days of broadcasting. In Nigeria, there was regulation on TV content and there existed only two players in the market — NTA and state owned TV companies. But now, things have changed. The entrance of satellite TV and even players like Channels TV has brought deregulation and increased the consumers ability to choose what type of content they consume.
But today’s discussion was not only about the patterns of TV consumption. Questions about fake news were brought up. Momoh was quick to state that Channels TV has maintained fairness and honesty in its reporting throughout the time it has been on the air, especially about the attack by some herdsmen in Northern Nigeria. By removing the name “Fulani” in its reporting, their audience viewed their coverage as unbiased as well as not reducing an entire ethnic group to a generalization.
Momoh also talked about his rise from humble beginnings. From a Surulere apartment with his parents and seven siblings, to a radio station when he finished secondary school, and then moving on to FRCN’s VON and then onto NTA. He talked about getting a license for Channels TV, but without the money to purchase a transmitter, it couldn’t start. He talked about getting a big part of the money he needed from British High Commission and Channels TV took off..
But importantly, he talked about the role of tech and social media in how the news is reported. Because of the availability of mobile technology and social media, the news is now reported as it is happening. And because of the amount of trust that Channels TV has gained over the years, it still has to check every fact given to it.