Nairametrics| Multichoice owner of popular cable services DSTV and Gotv has announced an increase in prices effective May 2017. Gotv Lite its cheapest bouquet increased by 12.5% from N400 to N450, while the DSTV Premium package, the most expensive bouquet on the platform had a 5.15% increase, moving to N14,700 from N13,980.
The increase according to the company was due to both the rapid spike in inflation and foreign exchange rates. Inflation rate doubled last year and the Naira depreciated over 30% against the dollar in 2016.
While the reasons for the increase are valid, they are not peculiar to the industry alone. Multichoice has a history of increasing prices arbitrarily. Between 2009 and 2017, prices have increased eight times, averaging a change in their prices every two years.
- The first increase was in September 2009 which coincided with the introduction of a low cost bouquet Dstv Access at N1,500 and an increase in the prices of Dstv Compact and Premium.
- In April 2011, prices went up again. Dstv premium went from N9,500 to N10,300 as well as other bouquets except for Access which was left unchanged at N1,500.
- August 2012 saw a 10% increase in all its bouquets. Dstv Premium was increased from N10,000 to N11,000. Access was left unchanged at N1,500. The increase was attributed to the rise in inflation and operational costs.
- August 2015, witnessed a 20% increase in all its bouquets. Dstv went from N11,650 to N13,980. Dstv Access subscribers now had to pay N1,800 as against the previous rate of N1500.
- A careful look at the increase shows Dstv Premium has increased by 55% in eight years from N9,000 in 2009 to N13,980 in 2017.
- Dstv Access has gone up by 26% from its inception in 2009. The current increase may thus lead to more consumers switching to cheaper packages or competitors.
Dstv was established in 1995 and has over 6.7 million subscribers mainly in South Africa and Nigeria. Analysts have viewed the cable TV provider as a monopoly due to its dominant size, a charge it has vehemently denied. Hitv which was its closest competitor folded up after a few years.