Embattled TSTV Executives in Rumble With EFCC, Ex – Minister

The Story

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has charged Two Executives of Telecom Satellite TV (TSTV) in Court.

Tell Me More

The EFCC HAS laid out a nine-count criminal charge that includes Tax Evasion, money laundering, and advanced fee fraud against the executive of satellite television, TSTV. 

Defendants of the case are Bright Echefu (CEO of TSTV), Felix Igboanuga(Executive director, TSTV), TSTV, and Briechberg Investment Limited (For which Bright Echefu is also the Managing director).

Echefu and Igboanuga are alleged to have diverted tax money meant for the Government for their personal use. Echefu through Briechberg also allegedly defrauded an ex-minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Turaki Taminu, of 969 Million.

This money was intended as an investment loan to purchase modern equipment for his Company. The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges, were granted bail, and instructed not to leave the country without the permission of the court. The trial date has been set for July 15th. 16th and 17th.

Key Background

Nigeria’s Indigenous Pay-TV company Telecom Satellite TV, founded by Bright Echefu, launched with much promise in 2017.

It was marketed as a pay-per-view service, that was affordable to every Nigerian, with an additional capability to pause your subscription whenever the need arose(travel etc).

Launched on Independence Day, it was touted to give Multichoice(Parent company of  DSTV and GOTV) a run for its money. The promise was all it was, as the broadcast company quickly ran full steam aground. It had to relaunch three years later – Independence Day, 2020 – with new decoders and new promises of upgrades in technology and services.

Technical glitches have plagued the broadcast service since February 2023.

What This Means For The PayTV Industry

Before there was TSTV, HiTV was the underdog of PayTV in Nigeria.

HiTV, launched August 1st, 2007 challenged multichoice’s monopoly on PayTV between 2007 and 2011.

HiTv had to stop its services in late 2011 due to financial difficulties.TSTV was supported as an indigenous attempt to break the monopoly Multichoice had on the PayTV industry in Nigeria.

It now threads the path of the defunct HiTV, floundering despite all the Government support and positive goodwill from Nigerians.

In Summary

  1. Is the model for a successful PayTV business in Nigeria that difficult to hack?
  2. Considering the troubles of TSTV, will other investors be confident enough to venture into that space?
  3. Is Multichoice just too big and established to be successfully challenged? The above are questions that come to the surface as the news of TSTV in court comes to the limelight.

The trial to determine the innocence or guilt of the 4 defendants commences on Monday the 15th of July 2024. Entertainment executives are keen to observe what the final ruling will be.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button