MultiChoice Celebrates Premier League 

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Trophy Tour with Okocha

With the Premier League trophy expected to berth in Nigeria on October 26, courtesy of MultiChoice, many would have expected a winner of the trophy to be its face during the tour, but MultiChoice chose Nigeria’s football legend, Austine ‘Jay Jay’ Okocha. Kunle Adewale reports

As is tradition with MultiChoice, a Premier League legend is usually invited to heighten the excitement of the football season. One would have thought the company would bring in a legend that had won the Premier League but the company had a different agenda and Felix Awogu explained the reason.

“First of all let’s look at Lionel Messi. He has never won the World Cup, as well as Cristiano Ronaldo but I believe they are some of the greatest ambassadors of what football is all about today. If we were to bring the World Cup to Nigeria, these are the two players I am sure most people would have loved to see. If you look at Austin Okocha’s contributions to the Premier League before he left for Turkey, he brought a different dimension to football in England. His dribbling skills are today still revered in England and they still talk about Jay Jay Okocha’s artistry on the football field. I think he is somebody who epitomises what football should be. He didn’t go for money, he went for entertainment and the fans till today still see him as one of the greatest footballers that ever played for Bolton.

“To us he is not just a Nigerian; he was also the captain of the Nigerian national team and a man that has given a lot to football in this country. If there was any one, he is the man that we should look for to celebrate the Premier League,” Awogu said.

Awogu hailed MultiChoice’s retention of broadcast rights to the Premier League till 2022, saying it was not just about the fact that the company was trying to make everyone, irrespective of your financial prowess, have the opportunity to see some of these matches, which is why a lot of times, DStv cascaded it to the lower bouquets.

“If you look at it, it is the biggest brand and the major driver in the business in the country. A lot of Nigerians probably know more about the Premier League than the English themselves. If I go on the streets of England and chat with the regular folks, I realise that more of our taxi drivers have better view of what the Premier League is all about. We are excited and it is indeed an honour to have such great property at MultiChoice till 2022,” he said.

Asked how the rising adoption of the OTT offerings had impacted business at MultiChoice, Awogu said, “The beautiful thing about the Premier League is that it is well structured. We have the total rights and we deliver the entire matches, about 380 Live games to everybody. We also have our Catch Up services which is unique to DStv and I do not believe any other provider offers such services. We are always ready and set to provide the best viewing experience to our viewing populace. The online aspect is a growing phenomenon and DStv Now is going to be positioned for that. It is a well thought out service, we are working on it daily and we are getting clean and clear signals.  Most Nigerians have mobile phones, about 90 million mobile phone users and it is a great opportunity for people who want entertainment on the go and want to catch up on their programmes. DStv Now to me will be the greatest innovation in the television industry in Nigeria and Africa.”

On what informed the decision of MultiChoice to extend the La Liga matches to the lower bouquets as well as GOtv and whether the company had plans to do same for the Champions league and FA Cup, the SuperSport MD opined, “We pride ourselves as people who decide to go for the best and La Liga league is great. After the Premier League, La Liga is probably one of the biggest in terms of marketing and the way it is deployed. It is something we do all the time, which is, reviewing our content offering because we have principle of basically looking at our customers and their desires. The business has a principle called ‘The customer first approach’ and once we have all that sorted, we decide. There is also something we call ‘open week’ where we decide to run our premium channels across board and people sit at home and enjoy it.”

For those who are of the opinion that bringing the La Liga matches to the lower bouquets as well as GOtv may make some DStv premium customers to come down to the lower bouquets, Awogu has a different opinion of that,

“It all depends. If you look at our premium bouquet, it is a different world on its own not just because of the Premier League. It has some of the best programming in the world. I make bold to say that DStv and GOtv are probably the best platforms in the world. I have travelled wide and I have not seen another platform which offers the pot pourri of what we have at varying affordable costs to Nigerians. When we talk about ‘open week’, it is a once in a while thing. We have a special package always for the premium subscribers and of course we keep improving,” he said.