Reports point to the fact that pay TV penetration rate has remained alarmingly low in Africa when compared with penetration rates in more mature markets, despite the increasing technological advances. The lack of basic infrastructure, including incessant power outage, among other socio-economic factors, is largely responsible for the low household TV penetration in sub-Saharan Africa. A report published by Dataxis, a global firm specialising in telecom, TV and media information, shows that TV households penetration in Africa, which stood at 114 million in 2015, will reach 159 million in 2021, a figure which is far below penetration rate in some other countries across the world.
Despite the daunting digital divide, people have continued to exploit the available options to keep themselves abreast with knowledge, information and entertainment. For instance, football, which is a unifying factor, has continued to strengthen bonds amongst Nigerians despite the dwindling fortunes of the national team in recent years. The passion of Nigerians for football is firmly expressed in the manner in which football fans troop to bars and “viewing centres” in droves to watch European league matches on high definition broadcast by popular sports channel, SuperSport.
With the 2016/17 Premier League (PL) underway, one can expect that football loving Nigerians will be on the edges of their seats to catch every action of the season as Manchester United’s Jose Mourinho, their city rival, Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola; Chelsea’s unpredictable coach, Antonio Conte; and former Borussia Dortmund gaffer, Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp, including the longest serving coach in the EPL, Arsene Wenger of Arsenal FC are sure to make this season explode with excitement. Little wonder football pundits have described this season’s Premier League as the ‘clash of titans’. The league certainly presents a tough challenge for all the teams and it is definitely something worth watching in the comfort of one’s home. Moreover, the excitement created by underdogs, Leicester City, winning the league last season is expected to bring a new flair to the PL, further underlying the stiff competition and excitement the league brings.
Recognising Nigerians’ emotional bond with football, MultiChoice Nigeria launched the ‘Live Your Dream’ campaign to celebrate the passion, perseverance and determination of Nigerians to achieve their dreams against all odds. In this campaign, they sought no other than football star, Odion Jude Ighalo who is currently a top striker for English football club, Watford and the Nigerian national team. According to the company, Ighalo’s grass to grace story formed the perfect backdrop for the campaign. They believe that his energetic display and results on the pitch will inspire Nigerians as they work on achieving their dreams as exemplified by Ighalo’s rise from the backwaters of Ajegunle to the plush grounds of vicarage road in Watford FC, England.
Managing Director, MultiChoice Nigeria, John Ugbe, on the Live Your Dream campaign said “Ighalo’s rise to football stardom has been a source of inspiration to many. His passion and performance in the game have made him well respected both home and abroad. As a brand, we went down memory lane with Ighalo and found how he was able to live his dream from the streets of Ajegunle to the tables of the Premier League.”
With this campaign, MultiChoice further reiterates its value proposition on its DStv Compact bouquet. The Compact bouquet has been going through continuous modifications to provide existing customers including potential subscribers to key into the world of premium sport entertainment as well as music, fashion and movies on high definition at an affordable rate of N6,000 only.
In July last year, the leading video entertainment company introduced additional channels, to further enhance the value of the Compact bouquet, some of which include Africa Magic Igbo, Africa Magic Urban, BBC Brit, CBeebies, Eva, M-City and Zee World. A more recent occurrence was the addition of FOX channel, a global entertainment channel that prides itself with bringing ‘The Best, First’, with award-winning, ground-breaking and critically acclaimed programming. “The overarching objective is to expand the reach to a wider audience, creating new fans of its riveting entertainment in the African market”, says Martin Mabutho, General Manager, MultiChoice Nigeria.
Most exciting of all is that with the Compact bouquet, viewers can catch live action of the best of English, Spanish and European football leagues from the comfort of their homes on two recently introduced SuperSport channels; SuperSport 11 and SuperSport 12, dedicated to showcasing the Premier League and La Liga respectively at no extra cost.
The move by the foremost entertainment company to repackage the Compact bouquet also involves a slash in the price of its Explora decoder, which comes with a dish and one month Compact subscription for only N30,000 while the Zapper HD decoder, dish kit plus one month free Compact subscription goes for only N9,999. This is a significant development that seeks to empower many more people to access premium content on high definition. It is believed that with this new offering from MultiChoice, the revamped Compact bouquet will help boost pay TV household penetration rate across many communities in Nigeria in line with the trends worldwide: when costs of access drops, many more people are empowered to enjoy a service or product.
John Ugbe, speaking on the new offering said, “As a customer-focused organisation, we understand that subscribers’ needs are not all the same, and the economic headwinds they are confronted with might differ. As such, it is in appreciation of this diversity that the compact bouquet was introduced to cater for the down market. DStv subscribers can now pay less to enjoy more.” John says further that the value proposition of the Compact bouquet is a consequence of evaluation of the market, including peculiar needs of MultiChoice’s customers and potential subscribers, adding that the value customers will get far outweighs the monthly subscription.
In view of the aforesaid, it is possible to assert that based on the humongous amount of content available to DStv subscribers on Compact bouquet, MultiChoice is urging everyone to live out their dreams by taking advantage of its platform and see their dreams become a manifest reality.
A Lagos based industry pundit, Lateef Balogun sums it up saying the efforts of the pay TV Company was worth applauding. “It is a good move from the company. Times are really hard these days and the fact that MultiChoice recognises this is good. You know how important we Nigerians take football. It is a relief to know that despite the economic challenges, we can still return to our homes to watch our favourite teams with PHCN allowing us”, he said.