On 30th September 2014, GeoPoll Research, a mobile survey platform, published a report on the top television stations in Nigeria and how they fared for viewership in the months of June, July, and August this year. The report showed that government-owned Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) remains the most-watched television station in the country despite the advent of private television stations that have a wide array of programmes. Frederick Mordi has the rest of the story.
On a Saturday afternoon in a typical Lagos middle-class home, which is likely to have at least two television sets, the man of the house will probably be watching SuperSports, while his wife will be watching Africa Magic, and the children, depending on their ages, one of the numerous cartoon stations.
But in a less affluent neighbourhood with just one television set in the home, the choice of the channel to watch is often a problem. A compromise could be struck between the men, who usually like to watch football, and the womenfolk, who are ardent fans of Nollywood – the Nigerian home video industry. There is no talk of cartoons for the kids who prefer watching home video to football, in such homes. Most of the time, the fathers end up going out to watch football at the local beer parlour or at viewing centres.
However, unlike Lagos where viewers are spoilt for choice due to the numerous private television stations that they have access to, in other parts of the country, the federal government-owned Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) is often the main television station that viewers watch. This leaves them with little or no choice of what programmes to watch.
A recent published report entitled Popular TV Stations and Viewing Times in Nigeria, compiled by GeoPoll Research, reportedly the world’s largest real-time mobile survey platform, sheds more light into the television viewing habits of Nigerians.
According to the report, which was released on 30th September this year, NTA boasts the highest number of viewers among the television stations in Nigeria. The report covered a three-month period: June, July and August 2014. The data that formed the basis for the report came from GeoPoll’s audience measurement service, a panel-based survey which produces daily data on television and radio ratings.
The report said: “Nigeria has the largest population of any country in Africa, and the economy is growing quickly, so it is interesting to look at how television stations are competing for viewers. In June, NTA, which is the government-run station and one of the largest and oldest stations in Nigeria, had the most viewers with a total of over 3.355bn views over the course of the month. Close behind NTA in June was Africa Magic, a more entertainment-focused channel, who had 3.074bn views.”
According to the report, African Independent Television (AIT), owned by media mogul Raymond Dokpesi, cable sports channel SuperSport, and Channels Television, established by John Momoh, a former newscaster on NTA, rounded out the top five channels in Nigeria in June, July and August 2014.
The report added: “The only change we saw in the top channel rankings over the summer was that in July, Africa Magic slightly beat NTA in terms of viewers. In July, Africa Magic had a total of 3.17bn views over the month, and NTA had 3.03bn views, down from June. AIT trailed behind the two top channels with 2.09bn views, SuperSport had a total of 1.66bn views, and Channels TV had 1.29bn.
Other top stations, the report said, were Silverbird and OnTV, with monthly audiences of 1.16bn and 852m, respectively, noting that NTA and Africa Magic held between them, 45% of all views in July.