South African DStv operator, MultiChoice, this week rendered an explanation for the increase in monthly subscription rates for its pay TV offering, DSTV, saying that the company had considered many factors. However, an analysis of the excuses offer little respite its increasingly frustrated Nigerian customers.
Multichoice Public Relations Manager, Ms. Caroline Oghuma, said some of these factors included a rise in inflation as well as technical upgrades effected within the company that may offset the necessity for a price increase. “the impact on the subscriber, current inflation, and efficiencies effected within the company that may offset the necessity for a price increase.”
“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,” read the statement.
This does not only fail to provide a concrete reason for the hike in prices, but also suggests that prices ought to have been reduced based on the factors enumerated. According to a report by Nairametrics, when looking through items tagged as ‘Luxury’ DSTv falls into that category especially in the wake of the current oil price slump in international market.
MultiChoice are strong market leaders in their industry and even though customers might think their prices are exorbitant, it remained the preferred service provider. But this latest development has left many Nigerians grumbling and sparked the #BoycottDStv movement, currently trending on Twitter.
However there are various reasons why the South African media company will outlive the current resistance from customers. Some of these include factors such as monopoly, which implies that DSTV is the only supplier of essential television programmes and other services. It is also one of the only satellite TV services capable of handling the demand for Premier League action by football fans.
It may take a while for people to adjust the price changes, but the truth is they do not have any better options. High Television (Hi Tv ) for instance, which was launched in Nigeria in 2007, broadcast its material only on satellite for the price of N3,500 ($27.73) monthly. Due to financial difficulties, its service offering was short-lived and the network shut down in 2011.
The parent company of DStv, on March 3, 2015, announced a price increase for DStv, set to take effect from April 1, 2015. According to a report by Nigerian newspaper Thisday, the price increase will set the DStv premium, which is currently at $77 to $81 monthly. The firm has however clarified that this change did not only affect Nigeria, but also every country where MultiChoice has its operations.