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MultiChoice explains why it didn’t reduce tariff in Nigeria

Major player in African Pay TV sub sector, MultiChoice has explained why it slashed prices in other African countries and left out Nigeria.

It would be recalled that in last few weeks, there have been media reports purporting that MultiChoice effected a 20 per cent slash in DStv subscription in countries which it operates, leaving out Nigeria and South Africa.

But in a statement signed by Caroline Oghuma, Public Relations Manager, DStv, the company said that subscription rates across countries are easily verified, and that all the facts are on the internet for all to see.

MultiChoice however, admitted that DStv bouquet subscriptions were slashed in other countries, as reported,but she was quick to explain that reduction was way below the 20 per cent claimed by the authors of the reports. On the exclusion of Nigeria from the list of countries affected by the slash, Oghuma said Nigerian DStv subscribers have always paid lower rates than subscribers in the affected countries and, despite the recent reduction, still pay lower.

According to her, “For two years, prices were not increased in Nigeria until April, 2015. Even when they were increased, they remained substantially lower than in other countries. MultiChoice made a decision to absorb costs on behalf of the Nigerian subscriber because the company recognizes that the country is passing through a difficult economic phase,” she explained.

On the agitation for “pay-as-you-view”, Oghuma said there is no such model in pay-television, blaming the demand on misinformation, which makes the public confuse pay-as-you-view with pay-per-view (PPV).

Pay-per-view, she explained, is a model used in the telecast of one-off, usually, high-ticket events in sports and entertainment. She said the pay-per-view requires a subscriber to have an active subscription on top of which an amount is paid for the specific event the subscriber desires to watch on pay-per-view.

“A good example of this was last year’s world boxing title bout between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. The two-hour fight was exclusively on pay-per-view in the United States, where boxing fans paid $99.5 to watch the fight in addition to having an active subscription. In Nigeria, boxing fans watched it on DStv’s SuperSport as part of their Premium bouquet. Pay-per-view is considerably more expensive and is for one-off events,” she said.

In addition, Oghuma said, MultiChoice is the first pay-TV service provider to allow customers to switch off their accounts for seven days twice a year when they are not at home. The company also announced the Nigerian Television International (NTAi) channel as the Free-to-Air channel for subscribers when their subscription expires.

She also noted that “These initiatives received a nod of approval from the Consumer Protection Council (CPC)”.