Pay TV Price War


The saying that when two elephants fight the ground suffers appears to be untrue in  the pay television industry as subscribers are currently reaping a good bargain from  the price war between the three players in the industry- Multichoice, HiTV and  Startimes.

Before now, pay television service was an exclusive reserve of the rich. Satellite  dishes usually revealed the status of their owners as high networth individuals.  Back then, there was only one player in the industry —Multichoice, and as expected  of a monopoly, the price could only rise.

Things, however, got relatively better with the introduction of HiTV —a wholly  Nigerian company. With HiTV’s relatively cheaper entry price, more subscribers came  on board. For  some time, the HiTV offer was seen as the biggest revolution in the  pay television industry until recently when Startimes made a statement that:  everyone can own a pay television, with the introduction of its pocket friendly  decoder.

Startimes revolution could not have come at a better time as current economic  realities has forced more people to look for cheaper and better alternatives in  virtually everything. With N9,000, Startimes offered its subscribers over 35  channels at just N1,000 monthly subscription. As expected, thousands of  subscribers  rushed to buy the plug and play decoders.

The two big players in the industry, Multichoice and HiTV responded by slashing the  prices of their decoders to N9,000.  Multichoice decoders sold for N24,000 and HITV  N23,000 before the slash.

Startimes further responded by slashing its price to N7,000 with a promise that it  will go down further as it gains more subscribers.

Explaining the rational for the new price slash, the management of Startimes said:  “The introduction of the current pocket-friendly offer is designed to remove the  usual barrier which high cost constitutes and give opportunity to Nigerians to have  access to digital television without draining their pockets.”

“We see no reason why Nigerians should pay through their nose just to be connected  to pay television. In most parts of the world cable television has become a thing  for everyone, so why should some people keep the price high here and give us the  impression that it is only for the rich. We are here to change that impression.”

Related News

“We believe that access to information, education and entertainment should not in  any way be restricted or made to elude Nigerians under whatever guise. This is  because pay television is a vital instrument of self-development which has  implication for overall development in the society.”

What all three companies are doing have no doubt been of great benefit to the  country considering the 2015 international goal that all television stations across  the world must go digital. Besides, the only people smiling in this bargain are the  subscribers. But then what are they offering in terms of content?

Since it lost the lucrative English Premiership broadcast rights, the Nigerian Pay  TV, HiTV decided to re-invent itself and the result has been an incredible  transformation when everyone thought the loss sounded a death knell for the young  company. HiTV, in spite of having the exclusive rights to the mother of all leagues,  the UEFA Champions League, Carling Cup, EUROPA Cup and the Italian Series A, did the  unthinkable by first crashing its Premium subscription by almost half.

From N6,000, the price reviewed it downward to N3,500 and even with an additional  channel to complement the price. Thus, Hi Nolly Yoruba that is making waves in  southwest Nigeria as well as across the country with its subtitled Yoruba movies  came on board with a promise of more channels such as Igbo Amaka for the Igbo  speaking audience and 4 Real TV that is a mix of reality and game shows. The promos  for all the new channels, billed to come on soon, are currently running on HiTV  platform

Multichoice on its part parades a variety of good content on all its bouquets from  the Compact, Family, and Access among others. But its main catch is the English  Premier League that was offered it after the owners of the rights controversially  withdrew it from the Nigerian company earlier in the year.

Startimes, aside from having an affordable entry cost and a N1,000 monthly  subscription has over 36 channels. The management of the company has also promised  to add more channels to its bouquet. In the area of sport, the Chinese company says  its primary focus is to promote Nigerian local sports.

The management of the company says that in the next few months, there will be over  50 channels on the platform while Hausa, Yoruba and Ibo contents will also be added.

  Copyright protected by Digiprove © 2010 P.M.News

Load more