In what appears to be a symbolic but historical tie-in with Nigeria’s Independence Day celebrations, and a shakeout of the country’s National Broadcasting Commission’s estimated 37.2 million television households market, new pay-TV entrant, Telcom Satellite TV (TStv), is set to launch October 1, in an aggressive attempt to win a profitable slice of the market, Businessamlive examination of various sources has shown.
While TStv claims that it does not consider its offering as a direct competitor to the incumbent operators because it says it is targeting a specific sector of the market, its core strategy of offering a nonrestrictive Pay-As-You-Go service to subscribers is seen by market watchers as a direct attempt to make a play at dominant player, DStv’s market share as hundreds of thousands of Nigerian subscribers have long clamoured for the opportunity to be able to pay for what they watch on DStv.
But the new entrant says its target are those people who are not currently subscribed to any pay-tv service or those who require added services not offered by current pay TVs. DStv is Africa’s leading pay-TV provider with an estimated 11 million subscribers across the continent and 4.4 million subscribers in Nigeria (across its two service channels of DStv and Gotv), the company’s second-biggest market after South Africa.
If the new player is able to stabilise in Nigeria and spread to other African countries it would be competing in a continent where pay-TV revenues were $4.4 billion in 2016 and is projected to reach $6 billion by 2021, according to Dataxis. There were 18.7 million pay-TV subscribers last year. DStv is estimated to have 11 million subscribers across Africa with 4.4 million of these in Nigeria.
TStv is said to use the HBB technology that combines satellite and Internet service for television services. There is a strong belief now in the market that based on its Pay-As-You-Go strategy, subscribers should expect to be offered multiple channels at cheaper rate. Its HD decoders are said to support iptv.
Estimates of subscription charges are being described as being at “giveaway price when compared with rival DStv”, with one estimates noting that the TStv decoder set will be going for N5000, while maximum subscription is N3000 monthly, with N1500, N1000, N500 and even N200 offers available.
Bright Echefu, the chief executive officer of TStv had recently said in a statement announcing its partnership with ABS: “TSTV is providing a ground breaking option from a dominated marketplace. We are excited to partner with ABS in delivering an array of high quality programming. Our vision is to provide premium video experience to Nigerians at affordable prices. Our services will enable the viewers to experience HD and SD video and Internet surfing at the same time. We are the first indigenous local operator in the region to launch such a premium platform with a variety of services to Nigerians, who have long been paying exorbitant prices to foreign operators,” he said.
Following its October 1 commercial launch, TStv says it would offer Nigerians complementary internet capacity, smart home, ability to pause subscriptions for a record seven days every month, Video calls and in-built 500GB hard drive inside its STBs for content storage, Video on Demand services as well as the regular uninterrupted clean world class contents available 24 hours every day.
Specifically, it says its channels would cut across various genres, namely news, music, general entertainment, documentary, movies, kids, religious, events, sports, health, fashion and lifestyle channels.
The company said its vision is to provide premium video experience to Nigerians at affordable prices. “Our services will enable the viewers to experience HD and SD video and Internet surfing at the same time. We are the first indigenous local operator in the region to launch such a premium platform with a variety of services to Nigerians,” it added.