Hiked Prices vs Reduced Content: Is this a Good Time to Break DSTv’s Dominance?

About 16 months after increasing its prices, Multichoice has once again slammed a new set of hiked prices on subscribers of its digital satellite platform, DStv.

And as expected, it didn’t go down well with its users as they took to Twitter to express their woes. This set of increased prices kicked off on the 1st August 2018 and was made known to users through various messages.

The messages sent to DStv subscribers showed that customers would be paying extra on the various bouquets. The DStv Premium package moved from N14, 700 to N15, 800; Compact Plus increased from N9, 900 to N10, 650; Compact bouquet increased from N6, 300 to N6, 800; Family package also increased by N200, from N3, 800 to N4, 000; and those on Access package would henceforth pay N2000 from the previous N1, 900.

While there was an increase for DStv subscribers, the reverse was the case for its terrestrial platform, GoTV, as users had a retainment/reduction on their prices.

Hiked Prices, Why?

Although no official statement has been released, the company justified its increase in a tweet response to a subscriber asking for the reasons of the price hike.

According to the tweet, the reasons for the increase include satellite costs, maintenance of network, channel and operational costs with a promise to restrict the price adjustment as much as possible in the future.

Reduced Contents?

Just as subscribers were still lamenting the price increase, they were once again met with shock as there was a reduction in the football contents they could view on the platform.

For the football fans, The FA, Carling and Community shield cup matches are some of the vital cups in the English Premier League (EPL) and most people have always tuned to DStv to watch these matches. But they would not be shown again because Supersports have lost their match airing rights for these matches.

What Does this Mean?

The decision to increase its prices just when it had lost its airing rights for some of its contents is definitely not going down well well with its subscribers and as a result many of them would ‘cut-the-cord’ (Ditch the cable or satellite, bills and move online) or defect to other pay-tv options, such as Startimes, Kwese. Evidently, this raises questions on quality as some of these other cable TVs do not offer the services on DStv.

But should any of these happen, it puts Dstv is on the verge of losing many of its 4 million Nigerian subscribers, having lost several thousands last year after its increase in subscribers.

The Way Forward

Streaming services are the answer. Yes, live streaming TVs (“over the top” or OTT) are gradually gaining grounds in Nigeria with on-demand services such as Netflix and others now available in the country. This is making lots of consumers abandone the traditional cable for streaming services.

There are a lot of factors driving this rise, one of which is the appeal of “unbundling,” or the ability to pay only for the content a subscriber specifically wants. And with the frequent increase in price and shortage of contents from cable TVs, there seems to be an ominous prediction into a present danger for cable services.

On the flip side, streaming services may not take over Nigeria as fast as we want it to, due to some factors. These include expensive internet/slow speed as well as the availability of content. For example, in the case of sports –although available, most of such platforms are not supported in Nigeria.

However, with more incitements like this, it’s more than likely that more Nigerian subscribers would get tired of being pushed around by cable or satellite companies. By wanting to make their own way, there and then, streaming services would begin to make a difference for subscribers.

By Dotun Roy

DotunRoy.com is a development driven news website with the overall goal of amplifying, promoting and advocating for positive societal change through Sustainable Development advocacy in line with UN SDGs components such as education, environmental sustainability and Climate Change, Human Rights, health, finance, housing, good governance as well as security in Nigeria and across the world.

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