By Ada Igboanugo
When I was little, TV was the greater part of my life. I would be eager to leave school just to rush home to watch it. School closed between the hours of 12 and 1 so I knew I would arrive home just in time an hour later to make it for the national anthem that would be played by 2pm, which signified the beginning of transmission for that day by the Nigerian Television Authority after a very long pause; I never did know when it ended as I was sent off to bed early again. We had no form of satellite TV then just a antenna, we called ‘Cable’, that managed to stream some foreign channels, even at that, we didn’t get to watch its content till my parents were back home, and they would operate it themselves.
In my days if you had a satellite TV, you were considered of the rich culture, though I wouldn’t say we were poor, we didn’t exactly own one and it was always fascinating to see. The earlier satellite dish by the company ABG required one builds a separate space in one’s house just to accommodate its enormity. It resembles the dishes used in present days at army zones to send signal to the satellite out of space. It normally streams over 200 foreign channels including Indian and languages one didn’t understand but watched anyway. This was as far back as 1993
Today, new forms of satellite TV have come to town giving a whole new meaning to the word. We have had the likes of Dstv, FSTV, TriniTV, HiTV and Star Times but we would agree Dstv has indeed taken over the air space, and who would argue, they have stood the test of time in several ways. Dstv came with a new method and approach. It drastically reduced the size of the dish, making it compact enough to fit on the walls of the building comfortably, unlike the ABG which would nest itself on the floor. More so, much more foreign channels came in various bouquets with more options to choose from. But being the only one at the time, as ABG packed up, it was back to the affordability by the ones that could only and it had absolutely no local content on it so most were comfortable with their local antenna and Cable still. Until it looked like competition had set in with the introduction of FSTV. FSTV posed to be the saviour of the day with its fairly affordable cost price as well as its diverse bouquet but soon enough packed up due to lack of proper funding and management (though people still use it) placing Dstv back on the top spot. In came TriniTV which, most don’t know about, left as soon as it came, then comes HITV. Though with ulterior motive, we would agree that HiTV came as a breather to satellite TV with its very affordable price and the introduction of local content on airspace. This served as the true competition for Dstv and searching for means of survival after such blow, danced to the tune by slashing their prices as well.
Though almost extinct, ABG still very much runs in the northern part of the nation still at its best, HiTV on the other hand had run its cause and is slowly phasing out of air putting Dstv back on top, upping their game and improving their content but that is not to say, it doesn’t have its very many flaws in terms of signal availability and lack of content at most times. But then there’s a new satellite TV in town, GoTV. With its juicy new entrée, would it stand the test of time?