By Olivia Nnorom
The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has expressed disappointment and dissatisfaction over MultiChoice Nigeria’s recent move to increase the prices of its DStv and GOtv subscription rates by 16.7 percent.
The south-west zone of the association, in a seven-day ultimatum, threatened to lock up all offices of DSTV on Multichoice’s failure to yield to its demand to reverse its planned hike on DSTV and GOTV subscription rates.
The students body’s disapproval of the increase in subscription was backed up by a suggestion that tariffs should be charged on a “pay as you view” basis, stressing that the South African cable TV firm was bringing hardship on, and extorting Nigerians, without considering their standard of living amid rising inflation.
“We want the federal government to stampede their proposed plan in tariffs increment and also force them to implement the pay-as-you-view system. We are aware that DSTV operates a system of pay-as-you-go tariffs in other countries.’’ NAN said in a joint statement signed by Adejuwon Olatunji, its coordinator, Alao John,deputy coordinator, and Opeoluwa Awoyinfa, public relations officer.
Prior to this, MultiChoice announced an increase in the prices of its DStv and GOtv packages through text message to its subscribers.
The company said in an internal memo, “Due to the various economic challenges impacting our business operations, we have had to review the price of our packages to continue delighting our customers with great entertainment, anytime and anywhere.”
According to MultiChoice Nigeria, the new prices for DStv and GOtv packages will be effective from May 1, 2023.
The company noted that the DStv Premium package will see a price increase of N3,500 or 16.7 per cent, going from N21,000 to N24,500; DStv Compact+ package will have an addition of N2,350 or 16.5 per cent, jumping from N14,250 to N16,600; the DStv Compact package will go from N9,000 to N10,500, a N1,500 or 16.7 per cent increase.
In the same vein, the company announced that the DStv Confam package, currently priced at N5,300, will see a 17 per cent increment to N6,200; the DStv Yanga package will get a N550 boost from N2,950 to N3,500, equivalent to 18.6 per cent while the DStv Padi package will increase from N2,150 to N2,500, a difference of N350 or 16.3 per cent.
This price review has been received with apathy by subscribers who have experienced similar increases in the past. In September 2020, at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, MultiChoice Nigeria raised the monthly price of its Premium package from N16,200 to N18,400. Other higher packages, such as Compact Plus and Compact, were also affected, with subscribers asked to pay N12,400 and N7,900 respectively.
To provide relief to its customers from the recession in Q4 of 2020 and the impact of the pandemic, MultiChoice Nigeria later slashed its prices on February 1, 2021. The DStv HD decoder, dish kit with the Compact package subscription dropped from N18,600 to N9,900 on the Confam package, while the GOtv decoder, GOtennae with the GOtv Jolli package subscription went from N8,400 to N6,900.
However, in March 2022, DSTV increased its prices again,blaming economic challenges impacting its business operations.