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Published On: Mon, Aug 15th, 2016

Dstv, others struggle in the face of economic challenges

As the stinging economic state of the country continues, the usual  high financial flow previously enjoyed by premium pay television  providers over the years is now in decline.

The service providers- StarTimes, Consat, Dstv and GOtv operating  under MultiChoice among others are gradually grappling with the  falling subscription numbers due to weakening purchasing power of

African majority.

Various methods are now being explored by the customers to ensure they  still enjoy pay television services. While some have migrated from  premium bouquets to low-rate bouquets, others have out rightly stopped  to recharge their subscription.

Most free-to-air services being enjoyed by some subscribers are now  inactive. The development has not changed the minds of many people who  have resorted to watching local stations which are naturally free  instead of paying subscription fees.

In a bid to forestall customers attempts to dump their respective  services, the pay tv operators are now offering one promo or the  other.

One of the strategies StarTimes is employing to attract new customers  and sustain existing one is the showing of International Champions Cup  which started on the 22nd of July 2016 and expected to end August 13th  2016. StarTimes will be showing all the matches.

The monthly  subscription fee for the bouquet is N1200  Also StarTimes has an ongoing promo in which a customer pays N3,999

for 4 month subscription for NOVA bouquet. Attached to this is a free high definition decoder.

When BH contacted the Public Relations Manager of StarTimes, Mr. Israel Bolaji on phone, there was no response. There was also no reply to the text message sent to his phone as at press time.

Perhaps, in admission of the economic realities, GOtv last month also unveil a free subscription offer.

The service provider’s subscribers who connected from July 2016 till September 30 will enjoy one month free subscription in October.

The special promo titled GOtv Plus and GOtv Value is being offered customers who renew their subscription between June 18 and July 18, this year, and are connected from July 1 till September 30.

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As the stinging economic state of the country continues, the usual  high financial flow previously enjoyed by premium pay television  providers over the years is now in decline.

The service providers- StarTimes, Consat, Dstv and GOtv operating  under MultiChoice among others are gradually grappling with the  falling subscription numbers due to weakening purchasing power of

African majority.

Various methods are now being explored by the customers to ensure they  still enjoy pay television services. While some have migrated from  premium bouquets to low-rate bouquets, others have out rightly stopped  to recharge their subscription.

Most free-to-air services being enjoyed by some subscribers are now  inactive. The development has not changed the minds of many people who  have resorted to watching local stations which are naturally free  instead of paying subscription fees.

In a bid to forestall customers attempts to dump their respective  services, the pay tv operators are now offering one promo or the  other.

One of the strategies StarTimes is employing to attract new customers  and sustain existing one is the showing of International Champions Cup  which started on the 22nd of July 2016 and expected to end August 13th  2016. StarTimes will be showing all the matches.

The monthly  subscription fee for the bouquet is N1200  Also StarTimes has an ongoing promo in which a customer pays N3,999

for 4 month subscription for NOVA bouquet. Attached to this is a free high definition decoder.

When BH contacted the Public Relations Manager of StarTimes, Mr. Israel Bolaji on phone, there was no response. There was also no reply to the text message sent to his phone as at press time.

Perhaps, in admission of the economic realities, GOtv last month also unveil a free subscription offer.

The service provider’s subscribers who connected from July 2016 till September 30 will enjoy one month free subscription in October.

The special promo titled GOtv Plus and GOtv Value is being offered customers who renew their subscription between June 18 and July 18, this year, and are connected from July 1 till September 30.

In her response when contacted on phone about the level of customers’  subscription to the pay tv, Public Relations Manager of GOtv at MultiChoice Nigeria, Efe Obiomah, declined to to comment.

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“I cannot comment on this,” she quipped.

According to some patrons of the services, the deactivation cannot force them into subscribing on the pay television because of the cost.

Speaking with BH, a Lagos-based Pastor who preferred anonymity said he has stepped down from the premium bouquet of Dstv to the lowest one.

“We have to face the reality of the times. I used to subscribe to the  preium bouquet. Since late last year, I have to adjust to what I can  afford. Whenever my wife or children complain these days that they can  view certain programmes, I simply tell them to enjoy the ones  available,” he said.

For Patrick Ameh, a StarTimes subscriber in Ilupeju area of Lagos  State, said the financial situation of the country has denied him of  some programmes he used to watch.

In his words: “The economy is not good at all. What is more important  to me now is food, shelter and transport fare to my office. The last  time I renewed my subscription was October last year. I don’t think

about any renewal for some time to come. Everybody is thinking of  survival now.”  In June this year, DSTV lost a massive 288,000 subscribers in sub-Saharan Africa.  According to the report, the pay tv service provider which usually  spends half a billion dollars a year on acquisitions, is “on the lookout” for more deals.

Besides the harsh economic situation limiting the subscription power  of pay tv customers, the epileptic power situation and cost of fuel  for generators have been cited as factors discouraging the customers

from renewing their service subscriptions.

The pay tv service monopoly held by Dstv over the years was broken by  DaarSat and Hitv. Other which now also competing in the market include  StarTimes, MyTv, Joy Tv, Consat and many more. However, the financial  capacity and programme choice of customers determine which provider  they would subscribe to.

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