DStv Nigeria responds to complaints of high priced bouquets

Broadcast

DStv responded to complaints aired in the press that it was over-charging for its Pay TV service. According to DStv, if you take the South Africa subscription in dollars, it is about $80 for the premium bouquet, if you compare this to the same Nigerian bouquet, it is $66. It said South Africa has a price structure that increases every year contrary to the situation in Nigeria where the tariff has remained constant for five years.

“We have increased price twice in six years. Nigerian subscribers have argued that the country is a large market and as such, it should be treated with special concessions, the source said, adding that the market is not  as big as people think as pay TV penetration is about 1.5 million compared to the 10 to 20 million population in that has access to television. But in South Africa, the percentage of the population that has access to Pay TV, the source said,  is about 5%.

The competition from My TV, Star Times and HITV (now bankrupt) has not matched up with the DSTV, which prides itself as having a far greater choice of programmes. Exclusivity of content and the failure of other channels to offer competitive content remain an issue: “Exclusivity is the backbone of Pay TV business. The competition is on which of the Pay_TV stations could offer the best entertainment, sports, music, education etc. While it is believed that the principles of free market should be the norm, the other operators offering lower prices remain weak in their programme bouquet”, a source said.

While responding to the operating environment, the Zonal Director of National Broadcasting Commission, (NBC) Olufemi Olumide in interaction with Vanguard on Tuesday in Lagos said that there was need for  local languages in programs like DStv’s African Magic channel. According to him, if Nigerian local languages were not encouraged in these programs, the country may be left behind in local content.

Piracy remains a big issue in the Nigerian Pay TV market. According to the Director, Public Affairs of the Nigerian Copyright Commission, Charles Olisaeloka Obi in a telephone interview with our reporter noted that the Commission was committed to ensuring that broadcast signals were not pirated. “In the past three weeks, we raided many houses in Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Bayelsa, Lagos among others who were involved in pirating broadcast signals. We will continue to do that to ensure that sanity is restored in the system” he said. By next week according to him, NCC will be rolling out Copyright Marshals as part of its piracy campaign.

For the MultiChoice Managing Director, John Ugbe, cost of content keeps increasing by the day. “Cost of content acquisition is the greatest challenge pay TV operators are faced with  globally.

People are getting more aware and enlightened about cable television, thus, the demand is on the increase. Especially with the introduction of local contents such as Tinsel, Big Brother Africa, 53 extra, Jara to mention but a few provided by Mnet on the platform of Dstv” he said.