Nigerians grumble as DSTV is set to increase their fees from May 1st

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John Ugbe

DStv subscribers in Nigeria Saturday received an SMS notification on increase in subscription fee of the DStv packages. This came as a rude shock to subscribers who had enjoyed a zero hike last year. The last time DStv increased its fee was in 2015 and the cable-satellite TV was greatly pilloried by the public.

Over the years, DStv has been a recipient of public backlash. From content to subscription fee, not a few Nigerians feel robbed by the South African franchise. Not too long ago, football fans took to Twitter to complain about the non-broadcasting of the Nigeria vs Senegal match on the platform.

Reality TV shows like the current Big Brother Naija and The Voice Naija have also been victims of vitriolic comments, largely due to the choice of location for production. Nigerians feel that such local content should be produced within the country instead of South Africa.

The estimated 5% increase on all its packages will take effect from May 1, 2017.

Subscribers are however unhappy with the increase, considering the economic hardship. Not a few took to Twitter to express their anger. While some barely cried out in frustration, others called for a boycott of the cable services.

In their defense, the Managing Director, Multichoice Nigeria, John Ugbe said the decision was made after careful consideration into the market and review of its business operations.

“We announced last year that we would do everything possible to hold the price barring any extreme factors. However, all our content is purchased in dollars and although we have done everything possible to hold the prices even with the price of everything else going up, we are now left with no choice but to adjust our subscription prices from 1 May,” he said in a press statement.

“Our key priority”, he continued, “is to put subscribers’ needs at the heart of everything we do and therefore, in determining the price adjustment, we took into account many factors including, the impact on the customer, current inflation which stands at 19 per cent, programming costs and efficiencies within the company. Please be assured that we have worked really hard to keep this year’s fees manageable.”