Multichoice Ignores Court Order, proceeds With DSTV, Gotv subscription Hikes

Multichoice Nigeria, a popular Pay TV provider, has proceeded with the upward adjustment of its prices for DStv and GOtv subscribers, despite a recent court ruling prohibiting the company from raising rates.

On April 24, the company announced that it would increase its price for its DStv and GOtv cable services, beginning from the first of May.

Meanwhile, a competition and consumer protection tribunal (CCPT) in Abuja ruled that the firm should not increase its prices as scheduled for May 1.

A three-member tribunal led by Saratu Shafii gave the interim order following an ex-parte motion moved by Ejiro Awaritoma, counsel to Festus Onifade, the applicant.

Despite the court ruling, a check by Nairametrics revealed that the firm has proceeded with the tariff increase as earlier proposed.

On its official website, the new prices are now being displayed and implemented.

For DStv Premium subscribers, the price has moved from N29,500 to N37,000. Also, the price for Compact Plus has also soared from 19,800 to 25,000.

Compact rate has moved from N12,500 to 15,700 while Confam and Yanga subscribers will now pay N9,300 and N5,100 respectively from their previous rates of N7,400 and N4,200.

Similarly, GOtv subscribers will pay the new tariff increase as the prices have also changed on their official websites.

The elite subscribers (Supa+ and Supa) will now pay N15,700 and N9,600 respectively as against the previous rates of N12,500 and N7,600 before.

In addition, the Max and Jolli subscribers are now expected to pay N7,200 and N4,850 respectively. The former rates were N5,700 and N3,950.

On average, Multichoice increased the prices by 25%.

Reason for price hike
According to the Acting Chairman of the Federal Competition & Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), Adamu Abdullahi, Multichoice wrote a four-page letter to the commission explaining the reason behind the upward price review.

In the letter, Abdullahi stated that the company identified issues such as foreign exchange crunch, high electricity tariff and cost of running generators as some of the reasons why the rates were reviewed.

“We got a four-page letter from Multichoice, telling us the reason that led to this price increase.

“At a glance, we saw things like the cost of electricity, running generators, the cost of dollars for spare parts and so on. We’ll go through these items individually and find out how they have affected their operations,” Abdullahi said.

FCCPC to probe price hike
Speaking further, he said the commission would review the reasons identified by Multichoice, noting that the agency could involve regulatory bodies such as the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) in the process.

According to Abdullahi, the commission will not hesitate to sanction the firm if it discovers that their prices are arbitrary or it is in any way manipulating the market.

“What we need to do is to bring in NCC and maybe NBC and Multichoice, sit down and look at all these variables that they claim caused the rise in prices.

“By and large, that’s the claim of what they are doing because they are a dominant player in this market. People have no choice but to go to them for cable television, so that’s why they are doing what they are doing.

“If by any chance we find out or we can confirm that that’s what they are doing, again we go back to the law and do what we are supposed to do,” the acting chairman of FCCPC added.

Backstory
Earlier, Nairemetrics had reported that Multichoice Nigeria, a Pay-TV operator, announced a price increase for its DStv and GOtv packages by at least 25%.

This marks the third increment since last year, following the initial adjustment implemented on May 1, 2023.

Multichoice stated that the latest increase will take effect from Wednesday, May 1, 2024.

While last year’s increment ranged between 19% and 20% depending on the bouquet, the company is now announcing a 25% to 26% increase across its packages.

The new subscription fees were communicated to customers via an email titled “Price Adjustment on DStv and GOtv Packages” on Wednesday, April 24, 2024.

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