PayTV company, MultiChoice, has decided to reduce its subscription fees in some of its key markets across Africa. The company intends to cut subscription rates of DSTV and GOtv in selected countries but Nigerian subscribers will not be among the beneficiaries.
Subscription prices are expected to remain the same in Nigeria, as MultiChoice’s plan is for the countries in the East Africa region. The countries on the list include Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique.
MultiChoice increased subscription rate in Nigeria last year. The move provoked subscribers who protested the price hike on social media but the complaints weren’t enough to force MultiChoice to revoke the price change. The Federal Government later intervened on behalf of Nigerian subscribers, and the case remains in court.
In an interview, the Group Executive Head – Corporate Affairs for MultiChoice Africa, Reatile Tekateka, explained the reasons why the price reduction will only affect the subscribers in the selected countries. According to him, the impact of local dynamics on cost structures determines subscription price.
“Not all markets where MultiChoice Africa operates will have the same price changes as each country has different cost structures influenced by local dynamics such as inflation, content costs, foreign exchange rates, local taxes and overheads required for each business.
“These are taken into account when setting prices for DStv and GOtv packages. We’ve done a lot of research into what pay-TV costs in other parts of the world and we believe that our DStv and GOtv services offer good value for money in the countries in which we operate,” Tekateka told TVwithThinus.
The price cut will be effective from September this year. According to the report, the reductions are:
• Uganda: DStv monthly subscription fees in Uganda will be cut by about 30% for some packages. Note that the price of DStv Premium, DStv Compact Plus, DStv Compact and DStv Family are all being reduced as well.
• Kenya: The biggest cut is expected to be in Kenya where subscription price reduction will be between 5% to almost 37%. It was reported that DStv Premium in Kenya will see a monthly price reduction of 5% on the most expensive monthly package, while DStv Compact Plus will decrease by 13.46%, DStv Compact will go down by 21% and DStv Family will see a whopping 36.84% decrease. DStv Access will fall by 5%.
• Mozambique: DStv Portuguese packages that include DStv Bue, DStv Grande+, DStv Grande and DStv Facil will be reduced as well, while subscription fees for DStv Business as well as GOtv Plus and GOtv Lite will increase.
Why the company is reducing prices: MultiChoice is reducing its prices in the countries because Startimes reduced its subscription rate in Kenya five months ago. This is MultiChoice’s way of responding to the competitive price Startimes offered pay-TV subscribers.
Why Nigeria is not among: Apart from the fact that Nigeria is not a member of the East African region, the difficulty companies experience in the process of doing business in the country has been a huge challenge. This is the reason the prices of goods and services are mostly higher in Nigeria compared to other countries.
The cost of doing business is also a problem for multinational companies in Nigeria as they need basic amenities to run their businesses effectively. These amenities are, however, provided by governments in other countries. This is the reason MultiChoice is able to operate a pay-as-you-view package in some countries.
Though Nigeria is the third-largest pay-tv penetration market above Kenya, Uganda and Mozambique which will be enjoying the price cut, MultiChoice is still ignoring the call by Nigerian subscribers for price reduction and the operation pay-per-view services.
Also, Nigeria’s Return on Assets (RoA) is on the rise, and the country is well above other countries (apart from South Africa) in Africa on MultiChoice’s subscription revenue by country. This is according to MultiChoice Financial Year 2019 report and as shown in the images below.
So, as long as the Nigerian government doesn’t create ease of doing business, curb the hostility companies are experiencing in the market, companies like MultiChoice will continue to share or transfer their extra-cost of operation burden to Nigerian consumers while lifting that of other countries.
Note: According to the MultiChoice FY 2019 report, Nigeria has the highest price increase across Premium: Premium and Compact Plus bouquets, and Mid-market: Compact and Commercial bouquets – they rise 7% and 8% respectively.
FG approves N8.49billion to procure COVID-19 testing Kits, others
The fund is to procure 12 items in various quantities to strengthen the testing for COVID-19.
The federal government has approved N8.49 billion to procure 12 items in various quantities to strengthen the testing for COVID-19 by Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
The approval was given during the 11th virtual meeting of the Federal Executive Council presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday.
The approval was based on a memorandum presented to the council by the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire.
He was joined at the post-FEC press briefing by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed; and the Minister of Environment, Muhammad Mahmood.
He explained that the approval was made to further equip the NCDC to respond appropriately to the community transmission phase of the pandemic.
COVID-19: Russia to start mass inoculation of vaccine this month as it insists on its safety
The vaccine is said to be undergoing Phase 3 trials, which is the final stage.
Russia has announced that it was going to start mass vaccination of the world’s first COVID-19 vaccine this month before the completion of clinical testing. This is just as it waved off concerns by the international community and some scientists about the safety of the vaccine.
These views were made known by the Russian Health Minister, Mikhail Murashko, on Wednesday, August 12, 2020, during a press briefing.
The Health Minister in his statement said, ‘’Western colleagues, who can sense the competitive advantage of the Russian drug, are trying to express some opinions that are completely unjustified in our view. This vaccine is a platform that is already well-known and studied,” he said, adding that other countries have developed antidotes under accelerated testing programs.’’
Murashko also said that the authorities plan to start inoculating medical workers and other risk groups within 2 weeks on a voluntary basis while pointing out that the vaccine will be made available to the general public from October.
Nairametrics had reported yesterday that the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, in a televised meeting, announced that Russia has registered the first COVID-19 vaccine in what they see as a propaganda coup amid the global race for the development of a vaccine against the coronavirus disease.
This announcement has raised a lot of international concerns with the German Health Minister, Jens Spahn, saying on Wednesday, that Russia’s COVID-19 vaccine has not been sufficiently tested, adding that the aim was to have a safe product rather than just being first to start vaccinating people.
He said in a radio chat that it’s not about being first but rather about having an effective, tested and safe vaccine.
Experts have expressed their concerns over Russia’s decision to grant approval before the final trials of the vaccine have been completed.
He said that as much as he will be pleased to have a good vaccine for the virus, he pointed out that the Russians are not disclosing much about this vaccine.
This vaccine which is developed by Gamaleya Institute in collaboration with the Defence Ministry and the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), is said to be undergoing Phase 3 trials, which is the final stage.
However, a World Health Organization (WHO) database still lists the vaccine as still only in Phase 1 trial, which is the earliest stage.
The RDIF said that it can produce over 500 million doses of the new vaccine in a year in 5 countries, just as it disclosed that a minimum of 20 countries are currently interested in having access to these vaccines.
The WHO had earlier revealed that it is currently discussing with Russia and pointed out that in granting prequalification of the vaccine, a detailed review of data from clinical trials will be required.
FG completes 11 projects to drive Digital Economy
The government has been pushing the Digital Economy in a bid to diversify economic productivity.
The Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy announced that it has completed 11 projects to drive its Digital Economy programme.
This was announced by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami, during the phase 2 commissioning of Nigeria’s Digital Economy drive.
The Nigerian Government has been pushing the Digital Economy in a bid to create growth and diversify economic productivity in the nation, starting with the Digital Economy drive which was added to the portfolio of the Ministry of Communications.
Nairametrics reported last month that the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) also approved the creation of a Digital Economy Department, which will be responsible for promoting the digital economic agenda of the federal government. The department will renew the commission’s strategy for delivering its programmes and policies, and give the necessary push to promote the national digital economy.
The projects were launched with the supervision of the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy and would be operated by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), National Information Technology Development Agency, (NITDA) Nigerian Postal Services (NIPOST ) and The Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF) and would be located nationwide.
The 11 projects are:
- Emergency Communications Centre (ECC) llorin, Kwara State.
- Emergency Communications Centre (ECC) Calabar, Cross River State.
- School Knowledge Centre (SKC), Gombe State.
- Information Technology Innovation Centre, Kogi State.
- Tertiary Institution Knowledge Centre (TIKC), Delta State.
- New Neighborhood Post Office, Delta State.
- Remodelled National Mail Exchange Centre, Bayelsa State.
- e-Health/Data Sharing Centre, Bauchi State.
- Virtual Examination Centre, Borno State.
- Information Technology Capacity Building Centre, Jigawa State.
- Information Technology Capacity Building Centre, Imo State.