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Subscribers decry DStv Easter rates increase

On All Fools Day, April 1, four days to Easter, DStv tariffs will increase, but Nigerian subscribers are upset about it. Below is a Blackberry Messenger (BBM) broadcast that went viral recently. It was a boycott campaign against Nigeria’s leading pay TV company, ahead of its planned Easter hike in subscription rates. Here is the BBM broadcast:

“Enough Is enough! Fellow Nigerians, let’s all boycott DStv and GOtv services of MultiChoice Nigeria from April 1, 2015 for the exploitative tariff increase which they want to foist on over 2 million subscribers they have in Nigeria as reported in the Guardian newspaper of March 9, 2015. Nigerians will ‎​no longer tolerate the lack of pay-as-you-watch services they offer in South Africa and other countries. In Nigeria they charge our accounts even when ‎nobody is watching TV. They must implement pay-as-you-watch in Nigeria on April 1 as well as lower tariffs!”

Others have argued that nobody is forced to buy DStv and that it is a luxury not a necessity. Again DStv has done more to improve TV services in Nigeria than the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON) and Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) with the sophistication, rich and diverse content it beamed as healthy competition. Nollywood would not be the boom it is today without DStv’s Africa Magic. If anyone needs to redefine or regulate DStv’s operations, let the official regulator BON do it like NCC should regulate the excesses and poor services of telecoms operators in the country. Regulation isn’t within the purview of consumers.

“If you don’t like the heat in the kitchen, then leave” is the dictum that fits the scenario. Because of DStv/Multichoice, Nigerians now know the difference between good, poor and bad TV content. Whoever wants to injure DStv business in Nigeria in order to boost his own, should do it himself and not use others. Nigerians should boycott bad governance, not DStv. Get your PVC and vote” a veteran journalist requesting anonymity said.

From All Fools Day, the increase in DStv tariffs of about 25% would be as follows:

PLAN                  OLD                      NEW
Premium             N11,650                N13,980
Compact              N7,850                  N9,420
Compact              N5,000                 N6,000
Family                 N3,000                  N3,600
Access                  N1,500                  N1,800
GOtv Plus           N1,500                   N1,800
GOtv                    N1,000                  N1,200
Extra View          N1,800                  N2,160

Caroline Oghuma, Public Relations Manager, Multichoice Nigeria, has tried to defend the March 3, 2015 announcement of DStv rates increase by Multichoice Africa, its parent company. She said, “MultiChoice implements annual subscription price increase in all its operating countries, however, a price increase was not implemented in Nigeria last year.

“We would like to reassure our subscribers of our best intentions and reaffirm our commitment to Nigeria which is clearly demonstrated through our continuous investments in the country.” she added.

However DStv subscribers in the country are not happy with the increase.

Oghuma further explained, “Some people think we do as we please because we are a mo­nopoly. We are certainly not one. StarSat, one of our competi­tors, recently won the rights to broadcast matches of the Ger­man Bundesliga. Consat, ACTV, MyTV and Montage TV among others who are in the same pay-TV space.

“We had FSTV, CTL and HiTv, all defunct. To make our services more accessible, we also designed bou­quets suitable for various income brackets. It may surprise you to learn that local television content is paid for in dollars, but that is the truth. Our content purchase is done centrally for all of Africa.

“As we all know, the naira, our local, currency, is currently not enjoying the best of spells in its value to the dollar. The implication of this is that MultiChoice has to look for naira in far greater amounts than it used to if it wants to continue buying and delivering top-tier tel­evision content to you. The same thing happening to the naira is happening to South Africa’s Rand and other currencies on the conti­nent.

“The request for the pay-per-view, PPV, model (by some agitated customers is a bit misunderstood). PPV means paying for a special broadcast in addition to your monthly DStv subscrip­tion. In the United States, high stake matches are broadcast only via PPV, ensuring maximal profit for the organisers. For instance, the much an­ticipated Mayweather vs Pacquaio fight scheduled for May will probably cost in excess of $100 per subscription. That is just one event. You can verify this on the internet. Running that service will even be more expensive for our subscribers.”



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