Multichoice, in true Multichoice fashion, intended to increase pricing of DStv Subscriptions with increases supposed to take effect on the 1st of August. DStv is already considered expensive across the region and this proposal led to some outcry from the Nigerian public. Their cries were heard and the Federal High Court in Abuja intervened.
According to the Nigerian CPC (Consumer Protection Council) –who lodged the court application- Multichoice hikes their pricing on a whim. The council also said it was investigating Multichoice’s exclusive content deals. These allow Multichoice to be the only one airing certain content whilst their rivals are left in the cold.
DStv has appealed the decision to hike their prices and the matter is now before the courts. Multichoice did, however, explain that their pricing is influenced by a lot of factors:
MultiChoice Nigeria is a registered business in Nigeria which has its own local shareholders and operations – separate from MultiChoice South Africa. In any country of operation, pricing is dependent on the local conditions and long-term commercial viability. We need to make adjustments to the prices of our packages to ensure we can continue to offer our customers the best local and international content. MultiChoice will always endeavour to keep price increases to a minimal to remain affordable to customers.
We’ve been here before?
In South Africa Multichoice also increased DStv prices earlier this year and people were obviously unhappy as well. Though the matter didn’t go to the courts, it’s clear DStv has been feeling the heat as they have lost a number of premium subscribers. DStv has resorted to reaching out to former subscribers and offering them secret deals to get them back on their subscription which is quite interesting.
What about Zim?
Reading this you may think we have been quite fortunate not to be affected by price increases for a while. The fact of the matter is Multichoice has been screwing us over for a while already. Unlike Nigerians and South Africans who are paying their subscriptions in their native currencies, Zimbabweans have been paying in US$. People are already pissed off about that situation and a price increase would only lead to mass exodus regardless of how poor Kwese’s content selection is at the moment.