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.
What is the rationale for @DStvNg to increase subscription price across all Bouquet? because Italian League is back? This continuous increase in price is becoming rather unjust.
My question is Nigeria the only country where #DStv will just wake-up increase price? @segalink
— Nma, Tyra, Kamsi & Aless #NGA (@ifeenma) August 1, 2018
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.
Gotv Max N3,200 (before 3800)
GOtv Plus N1900
Gotv Value N1,250
GOtv Lite N400
DStv Compact N6800 (before N6300)
DStv Compact Plus N10,650 (before N9900)
DStv Family N4000 (before N3,800)
DStv Access N2000 (before N1900)
— Bhadmus Hakeem (@Bhadoosky) August 2, 2018
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.
This price adjustment is necessitated by escalating costs to the business – these include satellite costs,
— DStv Nigeria (@DStvNg) July 10, 2018
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.
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.
Hi. SuperSport will unfortunately not be broadcasting the Community Shield this weekend, as our bid for broadcast rights was unsuccessful.
— SuperSport (@SuperSportTV) July 31, 2018
Multichoice // SuperSport do not have the rights for this seasons:
— CapeTown_Bru (@Apetown_Bru) August 3, 2018
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.
— Gbemi Dennis (@GbemiDennis) August 6, 2018
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.
So no Community Shield, FA Cup or Carabao Cup this season. And not even one pre-season match was shown. While they charge exorbitant monthly fee. Just remember 100 000 premium subscribers were lost last year. Expect more this year after this. @DStvCare #SuperSport #DSTVReweet… pic.twitter.com/dskqey1kEl
— Suleman Modan (@Figjamfan) August 5, 2018
#SuperSport #DStv how many subscribers and our loyalty are you going to lose due to your inability to show #Charity shield, #FACup#CARABAO cup this season ? Bet if you’ll be around for next season’s #EPL . Should we start saying our byes @DStv @SuperSportTV ?
— Ayaz Merali . MERALI’S World of sports (@MeraliAyaz) August 5, 2018
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.
The high cost of using data in Nigeria isn’t enabling such businesses in Nigeria.
Yes the next disruption in the cable industry is streaming, but the technological and maybe political environment of the business isn’t enabling.
— Tolu Taiwo (@ToluTeee) August 5, 2018
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.
It’s not available for streaming in Nigeria. That’s why there are multiple viewing centers.
— Temi. (@TemiFaseyide) May 20, 2018
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.