NBC urges calm over MultiChoice tariff hike
AGAINST the backdrop of Nigerians angry reaction to the planned tariff hike by MultiChoice Africa’ Digital Satellite Television (DStv), the Nigeria Broadcasting Commission (NBC) yesterday said that it will ensure the Nigerians get fair and better service from all service providers. Subscribers, who spoke to The Guardian, have warned they may be compelled to ditch the pay TV platform if it goes ahead with the increase from tomorrow.
The consumers, who spoke to The Guardian especially in the areas where non-secure decodes were retrieved from the subscribers blamed the government for failing to call the pay TV platform to order. It would be recalled that MultiChoice Africa, with over two million subscribers in Nigeria, on March 3, 2015 announced a price increase for DStv, which takes effect from April 1.
The price increase will set the DStv premium, which is currently at $77/monthly to $81/monthly. The increase is the same across other DStv packages and bouquets and between five to 10 per cent increase, but comes with ShortTV, Ginx TV and Eurochannel as additional channels. Friday Ukah, an Akure-based businessman who expressed his displeasure over the in panned increase, simply said, “Although I am using GOtv, but on the increase of their tariff, then we will shift over to StarTimes or ConSat decoder, because it is not a monopoly business.”
Peter Asolo, a Lagos resident claimed that DStv does not have any major infrastructure investment in Nigeria and they do not need it, because they are using satellite signal. For Vivian Chidinma said, “The increase in tariff may bring the all expected competition, because Nigerians may embrace other platforms like ACTv, StarTimes, while new investors might emerge.
However, Ms. Caroline Oghuma, public relations manager at MultiChoice Nigeria, had in a press statement said, “MultiChoice implements annual subscription price increase in all its operating countries, however, a price increase was not implemented in Nigeria last year.” Speaking with The Guardian, Director and Head, Public Affairs at the Nigeria Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Awwalu Salihu, confirmed that the Commission had received several complaints from subscribers of the Multichoice Nigeria services of DSTV and Details Nigeria Limited of GoTV, expressing displeasure at the proposed increase in subscription fees by the companies. Salihu assured that the purpose of setting up the NBC to regulate broadcasting is to ensure that the Nigerian public on whose behalf it is managing the spectrum, gets served well, and “we are determined to do that.”