Multichoice informed owners of Emmanuel TV as far back as August 2023 that the channel would be removed from its platforms if the viewership figures did not improve, TheCable can report.
Emmanuel TV, founded by TB Joshua, the controversial Nigerian pastor who died in June 2021, was finally discontinued on January 17, 2024 after a final performance review.
Contrary to speculations that the channel was discontinued because of BBC’s damning documentary on the life and times of the founder of the Synagogue Church of All Nations, a senior member of the church has revealed the inside details to TheCable.
“Last year, we got a letter dated 7 August 2023 from MultiChoice Nigeria Limited regarding the channel distribution agreement between MultiChoice Africa (Proprietary) Limited and Emmanuel Global Network South Africa entered into on 29 October 2015,” the church official, who declined to be identified, told TheCable.
“The letter was signed by Mr John Ugbe, the Nigeria CEO. He said the metrics of all channels on DStv and GOtv platforms are monitored by the Multichoice regularly and that Emmanuel TV was performing poorly.
“This was not surprising, to be honest. The moving spirit of Emmanuel TV was Pastor Joshua and since his death, things were never going to be the same again.
“MultiChoice said it expends considerable resources in terms of satellite and DTT capacity and subscriber management to distribute channels. As a result, only channels which maintain minimum performance standards are carried on their platforms, according to the CEO.”
Emmanuel TV was given November 8, 2023 for another performance review, after which Multichoice served notice that the channel would be discontinued.
“Multichoice wrote us again on 7 December 2023 saying that they had concluded the reassessment of Emmanuel TV’s performance between 7 August 2023 and 8 November 2023. They concluded that channel had not met the 90-day improvement targets and would be discontinued effective 17 January 2024,” the official said.
Emmanuel TV responded two weeks later, precisely on December 22, 2023, requesting termination “by mutual consent”.
It also said the wording of the messages to subscribers should read “Emmanuel TV Channel Exit” and not “Emmanuel TV Channel Termination”.
On December 19, 2023, MultiChoice sent an SMS to subscribers to notify them that Emmanuel TV would be discontinued.
In the SMS sent to its DStv customers, MultiChoice said: “Dear DStv Customer, please be advised that Emmanuel TV (DStv channel 390) will no longer be available from 17 January, 2024 at 10.59. Please, visit dstv.com to check our latest content line-up.”
The BBC Africa Eye documentary accusing Joshua of rape, torture, and forced abortions was aired on January 8, 2024.
Source: The Cable