A little competition never hurt anyone, but it sure brings out the best in service providers.
MutliChoice, the parent media company for pay TV services like DStv and GOtv recently announced a reduction of 28% and 53% in subscription fees for two bouquets GOtv Value and GOtv Lite that offered in Kenya.
According to a report by Techmoran, GOtv has explained this as its way of providing subscribers with the same quality of entertainment and the same number of channels at a discount.
The lower subscriptions follow a 60% reduction on the DStv Explora PVR decoder that was put into effect by DStv Kenya at the beginning of August 2016 to boost sales.
As much as MultiChoice is selling these reductions as its way of transferring value to its subscribers (which could also be part of the motivation), it’s likely a response to competition that’s mounting from pay TV alternatives.
The Kenyan market has a colourful lineup of competitive pay TV services that include MultiChoice’s DStv and GOtv, Zuku – which provides a triple ply service to Fibre to the Home subscribers and StarTimes – another satellite TV solution that also slashed its prices earlier this year.
Even newbies like Kwese TV are adding heat
At the same time, there have been new additions to the Kenyan market that include Liquid Telecom’s ipidi TV – which is another triple play solution, and Econet Media’s Kwesé TV which appears to have been the latest precipitating factor in GOtv’s adjustment.
Unlike the other fully fledged tv services like StarTimes, Kwesé came onto the scene through a Free to Air (FTA) arrangement that has seen the introduction of its Kwesé Free Sports channel on Kenya’s FTA decoders that were introduced in the country as part of its digital migration exercise.
This meant that premium sports entertainment would be available to all Kenyans, ramping up competition for services like GOtv that have entry level pay TV services meant to cater for that market.
In lowering its subscriptions GOtv seems to be adjusting to the reality of such players in the TV space, suggesting that MultiChoice does feel the heat from new broadcasters and it has to adapt.
Turns out competition doesn’t hurt, but it is a good thing after all.