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Botswana: Multichoice Subscribers Disappointed

Multichoice subscribers have expressed their anger towards MultiChoice management for not informing them before hand that they (subscribers) will not be able to watch all their favourite English Premiership games as usual. They believe that they have been cheated since MultiChoice knew that most of the subscribers pay to watch theSupersport channels which televise the games.

One of the subscribers, Tshimologo Boitumelo did not hide his displeasure. He told Mmegi that it is even disappointing that MultiChoice management have been telling conflicting stories.

He said that while some say that they only learnt on Thursday last week that they have lost the rights to televise all the games, some say that they knew about eight months ago.Tshimologo also revealed that the manager had not been willing to answer calls from subscribers. He also said that MultiChoice service has been very poor all along. He expressed his displeasure at the monopoly adding that perhaps it is time someone came in to compete. He also confirmed that beside him, many people flocked the MultiChoice offices on Saturday demanding an explanation from the management.

Another subscriber, Tshiamo Rantao also said that he is aggrieved that he paid to watch Premiership games adding that he could not watch his favourite team, Arsenal, when it played against Fulham. "They did not even put any notice or advert in the papers so that we could know well in time that we will only be able to watch 20 percent of the games. They should have told us when we paid the monthly fees that our contract with them will be affected," he said.

It is said that though Batswana will only watch 20percent of the games, South Africans will enjoy 100percent of the games as usual, something that has not gone well with the local subscribers.Some Botswana customers want to subscribe in South Africa so that they can enjoy a full programme there.

The English Premiership has been the most popular European league among not only Batswana but also other African countries. Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea have attracted the most supporters in the country compared to other European leagues as evidenced by the support they get during the UEFA Champions League and it will be a big blow for MultiChoice subscribers locally having to watch only 20% of the games this season. This has emerged during a conversation with some of the subscribers who said that they only paid to watch Supersport channels.

Some even said that they had not paid their subscription since the English Premiership season came to an end and only had to pay for last week to watch the games which started on Saturday. Some even said that they would stop paying subscriptions.

For her part, Multi-Choice Botswana Public Relations Manager, Tshepho Maphanyane, in an interview with Ya Rona FM on Monday morning confirmed that they have lost the bid. Maphanyane said even the 20 percent of the games that they are allowed to show, will not allow them to choose the games they want. Maphanyane said although they have lost the premiership, they will show other major leagues such as French and the Spanish La Liga.

(Mmegi/The Reporter (Gaborone), 14 August 2007)

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