Nigerians have expressed their dissatisfaction as Pay Tv service provider, MultiChoice Nigeria, announced an upward review of prices on its DStv and GOtv packages with effect from May 1.
The company had announced a hike in South Africa that saw monthly fees go up by between 3.2 per cent and 7.5 per cent from April 1, 2023.
The subscribers, acting under the aegis of Association of Telephone, Cable Tv and Internet Subscribers of Nigeria (ATCIS-Nigeria), had said they will reject any hike at this time.
ATCIS-Nigeria President, Sina Bilesanmi had said he will not be surprised if the hike is extended to the Nigerian market, adding that the body will resist it.”Yes, we are aware of the South African hike and know that it is a sign of what will happen in Nigeria. They will hide under the guise of spiraling inflation and others to hike tariffs. But we have always pushed for pay-per-view.
And if they say they do not have the technology or precedent globally to implement that template, they should think about a technology that allows us to retain our subscription when we don’t use it. I mean for instance, if I subscribe and I am unable to use my subscription either because I am not around or I do not have cash to fuel my generator, I should be able to use it or roll it over when I subscribe again,” Bilesanmi had said.
Multichoice said the price adjustment was due to the rising costs of business operations.
“Please note that from May 1, your monthly subscription (premium) will be N24,500. To retain your old price of N21,000 for up to 12 months, ensure you are active by April 30,” the company explained in a text message to its customers’’.
With the fresh rates hike, the price on the Compact+ bouquet would move to N16,600 from N14, 250 monthly.
Subscribers on the Compact bouquet will pay N10,500 as against N9,000; while those on the Confam package are set to pay N6,200 compared to the previous N5,300.
Under the new price regime, viewers on DStv Yanga and Padi bouquets will pay N3,500 and N2,500 respectively, as against N2,950 and N2,150.
Meanwhile, subscribers on the GOtv Supa package will now pay N6,400 as against N5,500; with those on GOtv Max expected to pay N4,850 as against N4,150.
The GOtv Jolli package price will increase to N3,300 from N2,800; while that of the GOtv Jinja and GOtv Lite will rise from N1,900 to N2,250; and from N900 to N1,100, respectively.
But despite the rate increases, MultiChoice Nigeria also made a price lock offer to subscribers who may renew their subscriptions before their due dates.
The offer, which is meant to cushion the effect of the price review, allows customers to pay the old rates for 12 months, if they pay monthly before the expiration of their subscriptions.
Similarly, it granted subscribers (who pay for one year at a go, before the new prices kick in) the opportunity to pay the old tariffs.
However, this new development has not gone down well with some of MultiChoice dealers and agents, who believe the company is taking advantage of Nigerians.
Some have asked how MultiChoice can justify its claim of delivering value and accessible services to its Nigerian customers? ”Is it by making life unbearable and contributing to the hardship that is already killing the people.”
”How can MultiChoice say it acknowledges that the people of Nigeria are living under increased economic pressure and yet hit them harder with price hike? ”
Morene Ajike, an Abuja-based businesswoman said it was unfounded that a company like MultiChoice “Nigeria is a country of over 200 million people. How come its citizens depend solely on a foreign company to view soccer stations, African Magic and other entertainment channels? All these things still points to corruption. Companies like MultiChoice closes the mouth of our political leaders with bribe and extorts citizens.”
A social media user said; “Just yesterday, I was still talking about a Netflix livestream as an alternative to Cable TV, today DSTV increased their subscription packages again. Like say na only them the pandemic affect. Shey it’s to watch football, no worry, we go dey livestream henceforth.”
@UnmeritedFav, “Ever wonder why DStv increase subscription plans and the government don’t say sh*t?”
Meanwhile, MultiChoice Nigeria’s price adjustment comes two weeks after a similar move was made by its competitor – StartTimes.
Last week, StarTimes, a Chinese-operated television company, announced an upward price review which took effect on April 14, 2023.
StarTimes’ new prices will see its Basic bouquet customers on DTT (antenna) pay N2,100 monthly, as against the previous sum of N1,850; while customers on its Classic bouquet will pay N3,100 monthly as against the previous N2,750 tariff.
The price of the Nova bouquet also went up from N900 to N1,200.
Also, the company’s subscribers using DTH (dish) are affected, with the tariff on the Smart bouquet rising to N2,800 per month from N2,600.
Due to the rates review, the Super bouquet will now attract a monthly tariff of N5,300 relative to the previous N4,900 price. The Nova bouquet had its tariff raised to N1,200 from N900.
StarTimes said the price review had to be done due to the current harsh economic realities in the country.
“We are not immune to the economic realities affecting businesses in the country. While businesses have been adjusting prices upwards to remain afloat, we have been absorbing the recurring increases in costs. However, it isn’t easy to maintain the same price if we must keep serving our customers,” the company said.