One week into the launched of the much talked about operation in Nigeria, TSTV the new pay-television service provider, TSTV, is being rocked by a scandal that might taint its reputation, as it faces allegations of intellectual property theft by two owners, CNN and beIN, a Qatari sports and entertainment provider operating in US, New Zealand, South East Asia and North Africa .
In a letter addressed to TSTV dated September 27 and copied to the Director-General, Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC), owners of CNN Channel Turner Broadcasting System Europe Limited, said TSTV did not obtain any authorization before including its property among the channels to be broadcast in Nigeria.
This accusation is based on a channel line-up obtained from the website of TStv, which was launched on 1 October.
The letter which was signed by Eleanore Browne, Director, Turner Broadcasting System Limited, warned TSTV to desist from distributing its channel, as it has no permission to do so.It also called on TSTV to undertake in writing that it would not to distribute CNN neither will it use or produce CNN trademarks in any of its advertising or promotional items.Failure to do so will attract civil and criminal proceedings.
Similarly, beIN also accused TSTV of illegal piracy of its content and warned the service provider to immediately stop distributing its entertainment and sports contents, as it amounts to intellectual property infringement.
The letter from beIN to TSTV was dated 28 September and copied to the Director-General, Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC).Its receipt was acknowledged BY Umana Kufre on 29 September on behalf of TSTV.
The owners of the property said they became aware of TSTV’s plan to include their channesl in their package of a number of channels through TSTV’s website.
Stating that it invested huge amounts to acquire rights to the property and on content production, beIN warned that other parties are not allowed to rebroadcast or copy its property or use its trademark without permission.
TSTV has via its Twitter handle @tstvafrica, described letters as fake and an attempt to tarnish the brand before it begins sales.