MultiChoice defies FG, hikes DStv, GOtv bouquet tariffs

Subscribers are to pay more to view channels on DStv and GOtv networks, following an announcement on Sunday by MultiChoice to adjust subscriptions with effect from September 1, 2020.

MultiChoice said the price adjustment was arrived at after careful consideration of the market and a review of its business operations.

In a statement, its Chief Executive Officer, Mr. John Ugbe, said: “We have made efforts to contain any price adjustments on subscription prices. However, to ensure the sustainability of the business, we have to consider financial impacts, including inflation as well as increased content and operational costs.

“As such, we have reviewed the prices of some of our bouquets so that we can continue to survive as a business and bring quality entertainment to our customers.

“To arrive at the decision to adjust prices, we took into account many factors, including the impact on the customer, current inflation, content costs and efficiencies within the company.”

Ugbe said the packages will continue to be available at varying pricing points to allow subscribers flexibility in price and choice without compromising quality or variety.

“To this end, only the prices of some of the bouquets have been reviewed upwards while the lower bouquets have been left untouched,” he said.

However, the tariff hike by MultiChoice is seen as being in defiance to a subsisting directive by the Federal government to halt further tariff hike.

In fact, Multichoice had since June 1, increased tariffs of various subscribers to implement the 7.5 per cent hike in Value Added Tax (VAT). Checks on the DSTV site showed that Premium subscribers, who had been paying N15, 800 are to pay N16, 200; Compact Plus subscribers now pay N10, 925 instead of N10,650 while those on Compact are to pay N6,975 as against the previous N6,800, amongst others.

But the Director-General of the National Broadcasting Commission (BNC), Mr. Armstrong Idachaba while appearing before the House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee Investigating the Non-implementation of the Pay-As-You-Go Tariff by Broadcast Satellite Service Providers in Nigeria, said the agency would prevail on the service providers to reverse the price hike.

“I want to agree, with the Committee and call on DSTV to suspend the hike in tariffs”, Idachaba, said when pushed by the committee.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has also disclosed Federal government’s plan to break the sporting rights monopoly of DSTV, stressing that he has already signed a code to break the monopoly of MultiChoice in the country.

“Our amendments to the Broadcasting Act, will affect the break in the monopoly of MultiChoice. Amendments to Section 628 of the Broadcasting Act, is in our broad national interest,” the minister said.

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