Business Hilights
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Exclusive: Everything interaction in BBNaija is Nigerian—Multichoice

Considering the observed rancor and disaffection that have been trailing some displays in the current season of Big Brother Naija (BBNaija), which recently spurred calls by many Nigerians including a Lagos State lawmaker for the federal government to ban the show, Business Hilights (BH) decided to find out why MultiChoice embarked on it.

The quest encouraged our correspondent to engage the image maker and Public Relations manager of the company, Ms. Caroline Oghuma in a cracking no-hold-barred hot telephone interview that apparently revealed a lot.

She averred that everything interaction in BBNaija is Nigeria, but what was not yet clear amongst morally sound Nigerians is whether some of the embarrassing displays are truly Nigerian ways of interaction or the platform is designed to insult the collective intelligence of Nigerians.

Go through and react.

Excerpts:

 

BH: We are the publishers of Business Hilights, emerging leaders in tracking headline business news in Nigeria and beyond.

MultiChoice: You are welcome.

BH: There is a channel in DStv and GOtv that is known as Nigeria festivals. I think channel 29.

Multichoice: Yes

BH: Some subscribers complained that it was changed to Big Brother Naija without their consent.

Multichoice: Ok

BH: When I got their comments I sent one of my reporters to go and get flyers of either DStv or GOtv. Which they did and I cannot find BBNaija listed in any of the sets of content subscribers can go for or they subscribed for.

Multichoice: Yes

BH: So can we say that they were given what they did not bargain for?

Multichoice: No, we have Nigeria Festival channel. It’s channel 29 on GOtv and Channel 192 on DStv.

BH: Ok.

Multichoice: It’s called our Event Channel.

BH: Ok

Multichoice: So they are seasonal. When we have some, may be like events, we place them there. Its like having spare channel. It’s a spare channel. And sometimes we place events stuff there. During seasonal festivals like Calabar, Akwa Ibom Xmas Carols and others. otherwise, the channel is free on programming on regular basis.

BH: It’s ok.

Multichoice:  Do you understand?

BH: Yes.

But some of them were trying to argue that they were given what they did not bargain.

Multichoice:  All the channels that are there nobody bargained for them. No one goes through everything before he buys. You subscribed to a particular bouquet because you see what you want to watch.

BH: Yes, yes, there argument is that if you look at the flier, it is not there.

Multichoice:  You can opt out

Please tell them if they don’t want, they can call up our call centres, supply their smart card numbers or IUC numbers and they are off the channel. They do not have to what it. It’s not compulsory.

BH: If they opt out, won’t they be shortchanging themselves?

Multichoice:  It’s a seasonal channel and we use it for high focus event. We always highlights ahead of time that we will be showing this or that from so time. They cannot watch all the channels at the same time anyway.

BH: But their argument is that they were given what they did not bargain for.

Multichoice:  We buy these contents from other bodies. If I remove the channel, will anybody come and sue me that I did?

BH: I asked them same question…

Multichoice: Let them opt out. They are not missing anything. This is additional. It’s not as if they are supposed to have CNN and said there is no CNN take this. No, this does not affect subscription. It’s jara. They can opt out if they don’t what to watch.

BH:  Otherwise, it’s not part of what they paid for?

Multichoice: It’s additional programming. Let’s just put it that way. From time to time, we push in additional programming for our customers to watch. At no time is it compulsory that you must watch whatever programme we are showing.

BH: That is to say, it’s not part of what they paid for?

Multichoice: See, I don’t you to go and write your story and be quoting me. I don’t know if you are writing a story, but am just concerned. You keep stressing what they paid for. I haven’t said that. I said it is additional programming.

BH: Additional programming under whose own bill? We want these things cleared.

Multichoice: There is no bill. It is additional.

BH:  Ok, if there is no bill, why…?

MultiChoice: Look, Stan, are you writing a story?

BH: When a journalist is asking somebody a question based on company activities, do you thing he is burning his credit for nothing?

Multichoice: No, why not. You may be interested in knowing. You can somebody to clarify issues. If I call you and ask Business Hilights; how many people do you send it to? It does not mean that am trying to bring it down. I may be genuinely interested that’s why am asking.

BH:  Yes Business Hilights is doing well and our readers are galloping daily both home and abroad.

Multichoice: I can call to get clarification.

BH:  I think at the beginning, I said some people came to my office and raised this issue. If you can take back you mind.

Multichoice: Yes, that doesn’t mean you are writing a story. It could be they are calling you to clarify.

BH:  Ok, it’s an additional channel.

Multichoice: Yes, we call it our event channel. It’s additional. When we have special event, we air it there. It is additional. Big Brother is there now because there is currently no event going on. Do you understand?

BH:  Yes

Ok, how did MultiChoice come about that name; Big Brother Naija? What is actually the reason behind the name?

Multichoice: See, Big Brother is…, you know what. May be you should go and google what is BBNaija. It’s not a MultiChoice production, its Endemo Production.

BH:  You said?

Multichoice:It’s an Endemo Production so I cannot even presume to know why it’s called BBNaija. But you know the history of the programme? It’s an all-seeing-eye

BH: Ehh!

Multichoice: Big Brother sees everything you do. It’s an all seeing eye so to speak.

BH:  Hmm!

So, it is designed to be seeing only what is happening indoors?

Multichoice: Stan I don’t understand your line of questioning. Am a bit confused.

BH: Am an investigative journalist, I just want one or two clarification so that I can do my job. You are already on track and you are giving them to me one by one. Because, I have taken time to watch it. It’s all about indoors.

Therefore is the big eye only stationed indoors? Simple question ma.

Multichoice: Is what?

BH:  Is the big eye or the watching eye only stationed indoors?

Multichoice: You are asking me questions that are outside my scope. Do you understand? You can ask me why I am sponsoring it or other things. All other questions can be gotten from the internet.

BH:  Can the internet be quoted or made reference to?

Multichoice: Yes, you cannot quote me on something I don’t have expertise over.

It’s something we have partnered with another company to do. MultiChoice did not brand BBNaija. That’s what am saying. We added Naija because we are Nigerians. The people there are all Nigerians and it’s a Nigerian show. I can tell you why it’s called Naija.

BH:  Why is it called Big Brother Naija?

Multichoice: It is because it’s all about Nigerians?

All Nigerians. All the houses in Nigeria. All the music in Nigeria, all the stories in Nigeria. Everything about their interaction is Nigerian.

BH:  …But some of the drinks they take are not made in Nigeria?

Multichoice: Ehh! You the car you use is it Nigerian?

BH:  I have not said that my car is XYZ Naija.

Multichoice: No, how many drinks… You know that I don’t want to go into this discussion because am very uncomfortable discussing this.

BH:  Why would you be uncomfortable now. I think we are making headway.

Multichoice: I am. Am serious; am being honest with you. I really don’t understand where you are heading with this?

Multichoice: And I would hate to read or hear me quoted or see information I shared being represented in a light am not comfortable with.

BH:  No, no, it doesn’t work like that.

Multichoice: You asked the drink they are taking is it made in Nigeria?. The printing press you use is it made in Nigeria?

I don’t want to go into the nitty gritty of everything.

BH:  No, no, no.

MultiChoice: What is bigger than everybody in the house being Nigerians? All the sponsors are Nigerians.

BH:  It is possible. Where am going to is that some of their displays do not really show Nigerian character.

Multichoice: Some of what?

BH:  Some of their displays do not represent Nigerian character indoors.

Multichoice: In fact am very uncomfortable with this interview now.

I don’t want again.

BH: Its ok, it’s ok, I think am through.

Thanks.

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