Right from the inception of television broadcasting in Nigeria with the Western Nigeria Television (WNTV) in 1959, the television industry has been playing pivotal role in the nation. As the flood gate was opened in 1992 for privately owned television stations to exist, more stations with good programme quality came into the scene. Since then, the television industry has not disappointed in providing information, education and entertainment to audience in Nigeria and beyond.
But a unique story in Nigeria’s television industry began in 1995 with the emergence of a television station that has ended up dominating the industry for quite a long time with unique programming and expanding audience base and loyalty. That was when Channels Television began transmission, two years after the company was licensed and allocated a frequency on UHF (channel 39). This station has arguably become Nigeria’s all-time best television station having won the Television of the Year award for an unbelievable record 13 times.
History and mission of Channels Television?
Channels TV was established as an independent and multiple award-winning 24-hour news and media television channel based in Lagos. The station was founded in 1995 as a private television station. John Momoh, a Nigerian broadcast journalist, is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Channels TV. He co-founded the station with Sola Momoh who is also a broadcaster.
Channels Television is one of the 13 independent television stations currently broadcasting in Nigeria, since the Federal Government deregulated the broadcast media in 1992. The Company was licensed in June 1993 and allocated a frequency on UHF (channel 39). It began transmission two years later under the name Channels Television and now broadcasts to a well discerning audience of over 20 million people. The establishment of Channels Television as a news station was in response to the yearning of Nigerians for a TV station that will among other things:
* Give an alternative medium of communication to the government and its policies, and hold public officers accountable to the people;
* Accommodate opposing views;
* Inform and educate the general public on how they are governed as well as, what their civic responsibilities are;
* Uphold the ideals of balanced reporting, objectivity, fairness and the right of the individual to communicate.
Channels Television’s bias for news has placed it well above other competitors in the Nigerian television industry.
To win a hat trick of awards as the best in a competitive field such as Nigeria’s broadcasting industry is no mean feat but to win that award 13 times is phenomenal. Channels TV is definitely in cal of its own. The station has bagged the ‘Best Television station of the Year’ an award endowed by the Nigerian Media Merit Award Trust, 13 times (2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 & 2019). Channels Television was also “the Station of the decade” 2000-2010. It is also unarguably the station of the decade 2011-2020 with its series of records and achievements.
Channels Television has been awarded Regional Winner/Finalist [world], International Children’s Day Broadcasting 2008 by UNICEF. It is also the first television station in Nigeria to be nominated for the International Emmy Award [iEMMY] in the UNICEF special award category. The station was rated the most Reliable and Trusted source of information in Nigeria by the BBC/REUTERS survey for 2006.
Channels television is a special brand in Nigeria’s media landscape with unique qualities other stations emulate. The company is staffed with some of the best broadcast journalists in the country, with a staff strength of over 350, some of whom have received training in Europe, South Africa and the United Kingdom and the United States, and many also bagging numerous awards of different categories, nationally and internationally.
Channels team has produced feature programmes, which have received commendation throughout the country; video footage of events and happenings in Nigeria, shot by Channels News crews have been used widely by reputable broadcast organisations such as BBC-TV, CNN, ITN and McNeil/Lehrer News hour.
The station’s flagship, the “News at Ten” is today, the most popular and most watched news in the country, while the station has earned a reputation as an aggressive news outlet, which provides a balanced account of news coverage. Channels TV has an all-encompassing mission which is to produce and broadcast television programmes of quality and integrity that recognize and challenge, the intelligence and curiosity of viewers; provide community oriented programmes that will enrich local and international viewers; give an alternative medium of communication to the government-controlled media in Nigeria; and perform the role of a true watch-dog of the government and its policies, and hold public officers accountable to the people.
What a UK- based broadcaster and media trainer who is also a veteran Nigerian broadcaster, Julie Coker, said about Channels TV surely proves that this TV station is in a world of its own.
When Coker was asked in an interview with Vanguard, to describe the broadcast media industry in Nigeria, her comments will excite you, especially the part where she described Channels TV:
“When we started, it was a small and humble beginning, offering what we had to people. Right now, it has gone beyond our wildest dreams. Look at Channels TV for example, standards have improved a lot. We were models for other people to emulate; we build a career, and allow you to go and start your own station. When I went to read the news at Channels TV during their anniversary, I was very surprised. They were very professional in the way they handled news. The standard had improved a lot beyond our wildest dreams. I was amazed at the studio. If I had to compare our studio in those days, it was like being in one classroom and going to Channels TV was like going into the university. Everything was different: the makeup department alone superseded what we ever dreamt of. I studied makeup at the BBC and I was a wardrobe mistress at some point.
“But what I found there was different. They invited you to a special room for make-up. It was like a school teacher going into the university. NTA has a lot to learn from some of these stations. They need to send people to some of these places to learn, just like I had the opportunity to go and read the news at Channels,” Coker said.
Channels Television did not just become a household name in Nigeria and some other parts of the world just like that. It was the result of hard work and doggedness by staff of the establishment, especially through very popular programmes that engage television audience with exciting contents. This television station offers diverse contents that appeal to different segments of the audience. It has some of the most sought-after programmes anchored by very popular On-Air Personalities (OAPs). Among the programmes which constitute the foundation of Channels TV’s unique brand and increasing audience base are as follows; Sunrise Daily, Sunrise, Business Morning, Politics Today, Sport This Morning, Sports This Night, Faceoff, Diplomatic Channel, Channels News at 10.
Channels TV has proved to be a brand that is making Nigeria proud in the international broadcasting arena. The station has established powerful relationships with broadcasting authorities around the world.