Hike in DStv subscription in force despite court order
DESPITE a court order restraining Multichoice, operators of DStv, a Satellite Pay TV firm, from increasing its subscription tariff in Nigeria, indications emerged yesterday that the South Africa-owned company has continued to receive new payments from its subscribers.
The Guardian checks showed that the 20 percent subscription hike was in force despite court order stopping it from taking such action pending the determination of a suit filed against it by some lawyers.
A customer who spoke to The Guardian, yesterday, confirmed that he paid the new rate and got a text confirming payment. He used to pay N3,000 but on April 9 when he renewed his subscription, he was alerted thus: “DSTV Subscription payment of NGN 3,600 was successful.” Another customer who used to pay N5000 paid N6000 on April 10 when his subscription was renewed.
A source from the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) claimed that no complaint had reached the airwave regulatory agency that the new tariff is in force despite the court injunction. “Our understanding is , as a law abiding business entity, Multichoice Nigeria would have stayed action on the new tariff until the hearing of the Motion on Notice fixed for tomorrow (April 16, 2015).”
Insisting that further comment on the matter would be prejudicial, the source said adequate representation has been made for the aspect of the suit that concerns the regulatory agency.
The plaintiffs – Adebayo and Oyeniji had also urged the court to order the second defendant – NBC, “to also implement Pay Per View where subscribers choose the programmes they want and pay as they watch, which is being implemented in some other parts of the world.”
A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, last week, restrained Multi Choice Nigeria Limited, operators of the Digital Satellite Television, popularly known as DSTV, from implementing its new rates and increase in tariffs payable by its subscribers across board.
According to a statement, the order was given by Justice C.J. Aneke sequel to a suit filed by two Lagos-based legal practitioners, Osasuyi Adebayo and Oluyinka Oyeniji.
In the class action suit, Aneke granted the interim orders till the hearing of the Motion on Notice for injunction on April 16, 2015.
He also ordered that the suit and the interim injunction should be published in national newspapers.
Adebayo and Adeniji are challenging the alleged arbitrary increase in tariffs.
The Public Relations Manager for DStv, Caroline Oghuma, had last week, told The Guardian that the firm was yet to be served any notice from the court.
“There is no stand for now. Multichoice has not been served any court notice as regards that. If there is any, we will know what to do.”