The recent notice by Multichoice that there would be increase in subscription fees have triggered a lot of reactions among Nigerians. The explanation on the increase is necessitated by the rising cost of business operation and living in Nigeria.
The complaint is that Multichoice is only exploiting subscribers in Nigeria with those higher prices. The new prices of DStv Premium is N21,000, DStv Compact Plus N14,250, Compact Package N9,000 and Compact N5,300. While Yanga will cost N2,950, DStv Padi will be N2,150, Business N2,669 and Xtraview/PVR access fee N2,900.
There is a similar price hike across the GOtv packages too. Gotv Max will sell at N4,150, GOtv Jolli for N2, 8000, GOtv Jinja for N1,900 and GOtv Life for N900.
With these new prices, Nigerians will not be calm, as, to them, no reason could be justified for a higher price for the services. It is argued that, going by the prevailing economic crunch in the country, cable TV prices should rather be reduced to lessen the financial burden on Nigerians.
Previous price reviews
In July 2018, Multichoice raised the subscription rate for DStv Premium from N14,700 to N15,800, Compact Plus from N9,900 to N10,650 and Compact from N6,300 to N6,800. The Family package moved from N3,800 to N4,000 and access from N1,900 to N2,000, which took effect from August 1.
It is, however, said that each of its subscribers on GOtv Max package would begin to pay N3,200 instead of the previous N3,800. It added that each of its GOtv Plus, GOtv Value and Gotv Lite subscribers would be paying N1,900, N1,250 and N3,400 respectively monthly.
In August 23, 2020, the South African firm also increased the subscription rate effective September 1, raising rates by over N1,000 on the DStv Premium bouquet. It conveyed the increment by Short Message Service to the subscribers. Other lower packages were spared in the price increase, perhaps in consideration of the economy situation.
Some Nigerians that are complaining of paying more may be more in number. Some of the complaints are that weather-induced poor signal and epileptic power supply hinder full enjoyment of the services.
Exchange rate connection
Multichoice is a multinational company that transacts business in dollars. The devaluation of the naira and it’s non-acceptability in the international market also caused the company to increase its price to meet up with its financial obligations, which are in dollars. All expenses and costs of production are in the foreign currency. Purchasing viewing right, equipment and other logistics are made in dollar terms. Besides, as an investor, it is in the country to make profit.
Inflation, cost of living, etc
The inflation rate in Nigeria, rise in fuel price, unstable economy, rising cost of living, insecurity among other issues contributed to the increase in subscription.
Nigeria’s Senate had invited Multichoice to defend the increment in subscription. To resolve the matter, the Senate told the Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy and the Nigeria Communication Commission to order television companies to introduce a pay-per-view model of subscription as against the monthly model in place, and to immediately review their bouquet price downwards in tandem with the prevailing economic reality in the country.
Consequently, Multichoice made conditional adjustment in the price; that when a subscriber pays on or before the expiration date (April 1, 2022), they would be eligible for the old price. More so, if they pay consistently on time before the expiration date for 12 months, they pay the old price. Customers, who pay for 10 months upfront on the price were promised 11th and 12th months free viewing.
Nigerians can pay more as long as they get quality service worth their money, irrespective of salary earned. Cable TV is a luxury service, not a necessity. It’s really a matter of choice
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