Pay-TV company MultiChoice Nigeria, has described as misleading and inaccurate recent media reports accusing it of unfairness to Nigerian subscribers. Over the last three weeks, there have been media reports purporting that MultiChoice effected a 20 per cent slash in DStv subscription in countries which it operates, leaving out Nigeria and South Africa.
In a statement signed by Caroline Oghuma, Public Relations Manager, DStv, the company said that subscription rates across countries are easily verified, and that all the facts are on the internet for all to see.
While admitting that DStv bouquet subscriptions were slashed in other countries, as reported, she explained that reduction was way below the 20 per cent claimed by the authors of the reports. On the exclusion of Nigeria from the list of countries affected by the slash, Oghuma said Nigerian DStv subscribers have always paid lower rates than subscribers in the affected countries and, despite the recent reduction, still pay lower.
“For two years, prices were not increased in Nigeria until April, 2015. Even when they were increased, they remained substantially lower than in other countries. MultiChoice made a decision to absorb costs on behalf of the Nigerian subscriber because the company recognizes that the country is passing through a difficult economic phase,” she explained.
On the agitation for “pay-as-you-view”, Oghuma said there is no such model in pay-television, blaming the demand on misinformation, which makes the public confuse pay-as-you-view with pay-per-view (PPV).
Pay-per-view, she explained, is a model used in the telecast of one-off, usually, high-ticket events in sports and entertainment. She said the pay-per-view requires a subscriber to have an active subscription on top of which an amount is paid for the specific event the subscriber desires to watch on pay-per-view.
“A good example of this was last year’s world boxing title bout between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. The two-hour fight was exclusively on pay-per-view in the United States, where boxing fans paid $99.5 to watch the fight in addition to having an active subscription. In Nigeria, boxing fans watched it on DStv’s SuperSport as part of their Premium bouquet. Pay-per-view is considerably more expensive and is for one-off events,” she said.
She added that the company remains committed to providing improved services and customer-focused initiatives because it values its subscribers.
Recently, she said, the company made available toll-free lines on all the mobile telephone networks in the country to ensure that subscribers can reach its call centres at no cost when they have issues with the service. The operating hours at its call centres, she further said, have been extended and is now 8am to 9pm daily, including on weekends and public holidays.
In addition, Oghuma said, MultiChoice is the first pay-TV service provider to allow customers to switch off their accounts for seven days twice a year when they are not at home. The company also announced the Nigerian Television International (NTAi) channel as the Free-to-Air channel for subscribers when their subscription expires.
“These initiatives received a nod of approval from the Consumer Protection Council (CPC)” she concluded.