This’ how angry Zambians & Nigerians are over the DStv price increases

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angry-guySo apparently the DStv price increases – those annual increases they announced two weeks ago – have attracted quite a backlash.

“I love sport but will not pander to thieving” said one commenter to the story we posted here. Nigerians and Zambians are taking it even further – petitions to boycott the service!

Here’s a petition a Nigerian is running on


And here’s one by a Zambian guy. It has attracted close to a thousand signatures:



I find this quite amusing. People are literally petitioning a private company to reduce the prices of a luxury item. Yes, I think DStv is a luxury and you have a choice to subscribe or not. DStv is not the internet, people. It is not electricity! And the price increases don’t need to make exchange rate sense to customers, they just need to make profitability sense to shareholders.

So I loved this response by one Zambian on Facebook. For those of us not in Zambia, let’s just substitute ZNBC with our favourite state owned TV station!



  1. Farai says:

    I watch sport only @ clubs. The rest of my entertainment via internet.

    1. Mdhara says:

      How much do you spend on alcohol and petrol? if you have kids who love sport do you take them along at 10 in the evening to watch their favourite teams? We all concede that DSTV is evil but a necessary evil

  2. Ta Wa Nda says:

    You say its amusing, I wonder if it will still be the case when it cost US$250 for a compat boquet

    1. It’d be even more amusing. Not only would Multichoice have found the quickest way out of business as their competition will respond, but maybe it’d also be good for my health to not watch too much TV. It’s business and they are a private company. They are not even using a finite Zimbabwean resource – this is satellite!

      1. [email protected] says:

        What does it have anything to with it being a private company? I dont get why you dont get it.

        Doesnt matter when consumers raise their voices. They are the ones that pay. DSTV have to be worried when people start raising their voices. Especially from the most populous nation in Africa… and most likely the source of its greatest volume of subscriptions.

        Now, I dont know the extent of the increases that happened in Nigeria vs their economy, but it is absolutely unwarranted in Zimbabwe where the currency (USD) has gone even stronger than the Rand.

        No justification whatsoever.

        If the enough voices are raised, and people rally… they will act. Them being private means nothing

        1. My point is that private companies owe us no explanation on how and why they price their products. it’s us that have to make the comparison and see what we can afford or what we prefer. DStv know their numbers, as soon as people start ditching their network for alternatives, they’ll act. These mass campaigns are like the ones people do on Econet. It’s popular in conversations to diss DStv, MTN, Econet but in reality people never really leave. Anyone serious about leaving doesn’t start a campaign, they just leave.

          1. [email protected] says:

            But that’s what its not about. For whatever reason they may increase, the consumer actually has the power to withhold their spending. They have the ultimate say, if they choose not to spend in significant numbers. The service has to be paid for, for the company to survive.

            The consumer is the one that pays. Whether it is a private company or not the consumers WILL HAVE A SAY, if they make up a large enough number to affect its earnings.

    2. dstv says:

      well dstv will enjoy these price rises until they hit the price ceiling so until like $150 the price will keep giong up. unfortunately it seems zimbos and the resyt of africa pays sa’s bill cz we pay in straight forex,.
      ys theres some bugger in sa whose dstv is being paid by you

  3. mutape says:

    the truth is people love their tvs, i personally do not even bother with dstv i have always seen it as them taking advantage ever since my previous decoder upgraded its software. the thing died soon after and dstv said i had to upgrade by buying a new decoder not swapping

  4. Michael says:

    I usually agree with you on your articles. However i feel you are missing the full picture on some of your points.

    1. Private or public, any company that wants to do well in a industry has to be somewhat flexible especially in situations like this. Price is not a set in stone thing, its negotiable and the people that started the petition are at least smart enough to know that.

    2. You seem to emphasise that because they are a private company they dont have to answer to anyone, which i disagree with. Companies all have stakeholders which they have to please in order to succeed, one of the most important stakeholder is the customer. once again these people are at least smart enough to understand that hence why its not unusual for them to protest.

    3. I think beyond just pricing or these people vs Dstv i think thing like this should be pushed more. our market is very much in the hands of supplier which is terrible for growth and leave us being exploited. Backlashing directly at active companies like this is what will work better than hoping chute ” vamwe vachatanga yavo satellite company in zim”

    i hope you see my point here

    1. I hope I see your point, and I hope I address it sufficiently:

      Customers are an important stakeholder that needs to be kept satisfied yes, but the full picture of the Pay TV commercial model is with Multichoice, as should be. It’s their model. None of the people mourning about this is bringing out an informed profiteering argument here, just complaining that the prices should not increase. If anyone complained with facts and figures proving Multichoice are profiteering, then maybe that’s a start.

      True, price is not set in stone. But for a private company, the business model and price is arrived at by the company itself and not the customers. If people do start ditching the service, Multichoice will quickly react by flexibly lowering the price, introducing a lower priced bouquet, or whatever other flexible trick they have up their sleeve to reduce churn. Hence my emphasis that customers should act if they have an alternative, instead of campaigning against a private company that’s providing a luxury.

      On price they actually don’t have to answer to anyone except the viability of their model, market conditions and ultimately shareholders ofthe company. DStv is a luxury. You have choice and you have a national broadcaster to switch to if you’re not satisfied with the repeats that your money is worth on DStv. Again, if they hike it high enough to not be affordable, folks will not protest, they’ll just not pay, and enough of that will see Multichoice review the price downwards.

      It’s not Multichoice’s fault that they find themselves in favourable business conditions where it’s suppliers market. It’s their smartness to invest and be here to enjoy it. Why don’t people start campaigns to have the whole leadership at ZBC fired so that a better team with the TV license payers at heart takes the reigns. Has anyone started an FB page or campaign to not pay ZBC license fees until better content starts airing? No. Folks just stopped paying. Which is my point. Again, if it’s bad enough, no one will campaign, they’ll just act.

      1. Anonymous says:

        You’re referring to a product with millions of subscribers as a luxury item is ill advised. What kind of consumer protection do we have in Africa? Do you know DStV have exclusive rights for a lot of conent hence competition can’t compete. Besides the national carriers ( at least in Nigeria) are seen as machinery for political propaganda … Please the boycott is welcome, it’s the consumers’s voice

        1. How many millions of subscribers does it take to move an item from the luxury category to basic need? Who has been denied competing for these content rights. rights cost money – look for money and compete.

          Besides the national carriers ( at least in Nigeria) are seen as machinery for political propaganda

          Maybe organise a campaign against the propaganda on national TV so that it’s more enjoyable.

  5. Theresa says:

    In America there have been boycotts of so many goods from Nestle formula milk to Nike shoes because unethical business practices. If you have a liberal economy, companies can use that as an excuse to increase prices and fuel inflation to a rate that is unsustainable. When this happens, there all these services that people can’t afford and the standard of living decreases. So we don’t want to have to pay more to sustain a middle income lifestyle and we also don’t want businesses to profiteer which means earning huge profits at the expense of the customer. If that’s what you want for your country then that’s your problem.

    1. I almost sense the need for us to be like America. Satellite TV is not the internet, it is not water and not electricity. You made a choice to enjoy it. You can make a choice to enjoy something if it’s become too expensive for you.

      1. [email protected] says:

        But you wrote the article. If its not something topical, would it be worth talking about?

        We dont need to be like America though. And private companies dont have to do as consumers desire. Consumers may also not need(as-in life or death) the service. But when the consumer decides to threaten withholding their spending, doesnt matter who you are, you will be affected. You have to listen. It is less to do with people leaving beyond their mean, but more to do with people disputing the unfair pricing.

        If you are in ANY business, you will not survive with a stick-your-head-in-send attitude?

        Let’s bet on TechZim… if DSTV chooses to ignore this, you win… otherwise, you give me TechZim. Everything, including my favorite writer, Garikai.. 😀

        1. [email protected] says:

          * living beyond their means

        2. What are the facts and figures that this “unfair pricing” is based on?

          Again, if it’s bad enough, no one will campaign, they’ll just act, and Multichoice will quickly review the prices downwards. At Multichoice (MTN, Econet, name_of_large_company_people_are_mad_at) the only event they react quickly and decisively to is an increase in people not paying for service. Customer churn is the data they listen to when they decide these prices. As for the web campaigns and street protests, that’s why they employ PR pple.

          1. [email protected] says:

            My basis is with regard to Zimbabwe as I have commented on this and the other article.

            Not campaign? Seriously? Why? If you are justified, whatever unfair pricing experience you have is also an unfair pricing experience for the next person.

            Why does/did TechZim write articles on Government ICT Policy, Net Neutrality, the Nhava scandal, Banks not opening & integrating with Mobile, SMS spamming by Econet, expensive Internet pricing in Zim… etc?


            To whom?

            So that what?

            Why do we have regulation? Or representation in parliament? Or any communal agreements? Or laws?

            Either you have some fundamentally different way of looking at things or you dont get why collective action exists… or both

            I’ll give you bragging rights if you win. Will have a signature of shame in all my posts for a month. You do the same by saying “TechZim belongs to [email protected]”. That’s good enough “ownership”

            1. We don’t blog to campaign against private company pricing. We blog to share our opinion on issues, and to have a platform for others, like you, to share theirs.

              Yes, you’ll get “ownership” if Multichoice backtracks on their decision to raise the prices on 1 April, or reviews them back downward within 6 months after 1 April!

              1. [email protected] says:

                Yes. But why share opinion? Why discuss issues? Why not just leave the issues? Afterall, in your own words:

                “You made a choice to be in them. You can make a choice to enjoy something if it’s become too much you.”


                “If it’s bad enough, dont share the issues & discuss the opinion, just act”

                That is exactly what you are saying. You advocate for people not to have to express themselves and inform others on pertinent issues when they believe it is AN ISSUE worth bringing to light and matter worth sharing OPINION on.

                You have no argument to stand on!

                So what do you say about governments with regulatory bodies? With consumer watchdogs?

                Why do they respond to anti-competitive behaviour with heavy punity?

                And you insist?! You’re wrong

              2. we don’t share for people to act. We share so that hopefully everyone (including us when people share) know more. No one is bringing the profiteering facts and figures about Multichoice. just campaigning for the service to be ditched. That’s very different.

                Regulatory bodies are for fair competition, consumer protection against profiteering on basic needs, or profiteering from a limited resource like mobile network frequency etc…

                Satellite space is far from getting used up. Anyone can choose to look for money and invest in DTH or DTT Tv. No one is.

                DStv is a luxury. Anyone here can live without it. We can’t say the same about the internet, water, electricity etc…

          2. Daniel says:

            Hi, just to mention, probably in Zambia they have competition. In Nigeria however, DSTv runs a monopoly. its like you cant boycott. I agree, maybe we should start a propaganda against NCC. It 21st century, who still runs a Monopoly?

        3. On the bet, I’m game!!! 🙂 But let’s make it fair

          what do I get when I win??

      2. Anonymous says:

        This is a wake up call for Zambians. They should use other sources like wifi to watch or download there favarite shows ,series ,comedies movies.everybody these days has smartphones so dstv becoming to expensive is no excuse if you can afford dstv you can afford wifi. You must be wondering what the difference is .one just shows repeats and puts new shows or content late and is limited . The other has unlimited content, ability to stream videos and tv shows, music and so on.right now me and my family have no dstv but I can still watch my favarite shows.the other thing is apart from fast Internet you need a fast browser Like uc browser and a video downloader for the same browser and you are set.people should just get wifi and tablets instead of me this situation about no dstv is funny but to others it’s not.this is really a wake up call a serious one.i mean people can just go to i connect and buy wifi.i have heard rumers or people saying it’s 450 kwatcha or even 500

  6. juss says:

    Finance 101. ” the role of business is to maximise shareholder wealth”
    If you are not a shareholder, good luck.


  7. juss says:

    Finance 101. ” the role of business is to maximise shareholder wealth”

    If you are not a shareholder, good luck.


  8. Jimminy Cricket says:

    I utilise a high speed internet connection at home that allows me to stream live services from the net. This includes and IP cloacking service and a subscription to sling TV. Ther are miriads of things availble on UTube and live sport can be paid for on subscriton service these days. HBO have also just stated their ‘cut the cable’ streaming service will start soon. I will not now or ever again pay anyone or anything to do with DSTV or Multinochoice. As long as I live and breath I will be in the highest possible state of desire and abitment anticipating the demise of this organization.

    You talk about financial proof? Take a look at the last FY statements that relate.

    1. What do the numbers say? That Naspers’ Multichoice is most profitable company ever??
      For the year ended 31 March 2014, Multichoice spent US $1.7 billion on the Multichoice business. They made $2.4 billion in revenue – that’s roughly $700 million profit the whole year. Not bad.
      Apple on the other hand, in the last 3 months of 2014 got $51.1 billion revenue from the iPhone alone, and registered $18 billion profit with an estimated profit margin of 69% on the iPhone 6.
      Yes, very rough example but the point is both companies are accountable only to their shareholders, and the other is much much more profitable. Where margin is concerned, they just need to make the product worth buying. If the product is priced beyond its worth, the sales data will give them enough signal to act. not web campaigns.
      Tell me one single thing about DStv that’s not a luxury? News (read the local newspapers, or global news sites on the net), Football, Documentaries, Movies?

  9. Dee says:

    I concur with LSM, 1.dstv is luxury, unlike bread or dinner on the table 2. spending too much time watching tv is not a good for your health( unlike going to the gym or reading a good book) 3. one can live without Dstv, ( but i cant live without access to clean water) 4. Pvt companies have the right to increase prices, 5. Boycotting a service may cause a company to review prices downwards. However i see a situation whereby if Dstv yields to the pressure they may reduce price but will also cut down number of channels as leverage. In my case , since i moved houses about 3 years ago, i never resubscribed to Dstv, and i dont feel like im missing anything. I spend more time on internet and net is more interactive.

  10. Luchi says:

    The editor of this post is a foolish south african. Burn in hell fool

    1. [email protected] says:

      Must be painful being unable to express yourself except through insults.

  11. Luchi says:

    The editor of this post is a foolish south african. Burn in hell fool

  12. Disgruntled DStv subscriber says:

    May I add a different perspective to the debate…?

    The problem with Multi-Choice is that the company lacks competition. Simply put, Multi-Choice is a monopoly. And the fact is, as a monopoly, Multi-Choice can dictate whatever price they want depending on the willingness and ability of their clientele to pay. In fact, Multi-Choice has been so strategic as to develop cheaper products (Go TV) for the large mass consumers whose volumes earn them enough money to compensate for lower volumes of the high end customers. In addition to the various bouquets they have, it is a win-win situation for them. The truth of the matter is if you are not willing and able to pay the high price, you will opt out or resort to other substitutes, albeit not perfect substitutes. So while my Zambian counterpart proposed Muvi TV and ZNBC, these are not perfect substitutes or even close substitutes as he must well know.

    Further, getting statistics on whether Multi-choice is making abnormal profits or not is not even necessary. They will continue to do so until there is a strong competitor in the region that can give them a run for their money or until the demand falls with the increase in rates to a level that will substantially reduce their revenues. And I believe it is the latter that this protest is trying to achieve.

    It is for this reason that protests like these are important, to amass as many ‘will-not-pay’ subscribers as possible. If consumers can react collectively by not paying for DStv, they may (if they are many enough), force Multi-Choice’s hand. But this is a short term measure and what we should be encouraging as a long term solution, is investors who can competitively bid for sport TV rights and other TV programmes.

  13. Mutale. R says:


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