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Business News

MultiChoice in another pay-as-you-view tussle with Reps

Pay-per-view usually applies to a one-off broadcast of high stakes games like football, boxing and wrestling matches.

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MultiChoice in another pay-as-you-view tussle with Reps

This is indeed a difficult time for the management of MultiChoice Nigeria, owner of DStv and GOtv, as the Pay TV may be forced to answer the same questions for the umpteenth time.

In few days, the House of Representatives, which has begun an investigation of cable and satellite television service providers in Nigeria over their high tariffs and monopolised bouquets, will invite the company to answer questions over the much talked-about ‘pay as you earn.’

Though, it is an industry probe, the House is specifically probing Digital Satellite Television, a South Africa-based provider owned by MultiChoice, for allegedly cheating its Nigerian subscribers by restricting them to prepaid plans.

Chairman of the committee, Unyime Idem, at an investigative hearing held in Abuja on Thursday, said that the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) had been summoned to explain why DSTV and other service providers refused to introduce pay-per-view.

READ MORE: DStv plans to go “dishless” as it introduces streaming product come 2020 

Idem said, “Today, we want to hear from you and your team, how the industry can be properly managed so that beneficiaries who are Nigerians can smile at the end of the day. I am sure you must have been hearing of the yearnings of Nigerians for years now, who are the subscribers to these services, that they are not happy with the current services they are getting from the providers.

“They have been crying on a daily basis that they are not satisfied with the services they are getting from the providers in terms of high charges, price hike and, most importantly, considering what is obtainable in other countries of the world, that is pay-per-view offer that other countries are giving to their subscribers.

“Why is it not implemented in Nigeria? We want to know your position as the regulator of this service providers. What are the bottlenecks? What are the constraints? What are the implications? Why are we not enjoying ‘pay as you go’ as subscribers to these service providers?”

READ ALSO: Airtel Nigeria launches “Airtel TV”

MultiChoice says …

Meanwhile, MultiChoice has explained that there are some misconceptions about what Pay per View means.

The company’s spokesperson, Caroline Oghuma, told Nairametrics in an email interview a few months ago that it was not a service that enabled one to match consumption to subscription as was the case with a meter or mobile phone.

She said, “It is a type of pay television service by which a subscriber of a television service provider can purchase events to view via private broadcast. It usually applies to a one-off broadcast of high stakes games such as football, boxing and even wrestling matches.

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“Pay per View service can be purchased via a cable or satellite TV provider as a non-refundable separate package in addition to a pre-existing subscription. An example of pay per view in action was the Mayweather vs. McGregor fight, aptly dubbed ‘The Money Fight’. In this case, subscribers had to each pay up to $100 for the bout in the US, and watch or not, the subscription ended with the 10 round fight.

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“We broadcast the same boxing match to our Premium subscribers at no extra cost, and those who have Exploras were able to record the match and re-watch at another time. It is important to state that it is an expensive service to subscribe to. To date, no pay TV operation globally has a model based solely on pay as you view, as it is not a viable business model.”

READ ALSO: All Tech Companies eventually became Fintechs- Google to launch new debit card

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She added that the company urged its customers to download DStv Now where they could watch all the content on their current subscription on the go, via phone or tablet. DStv Box-Office, a service available on the Explora decoder, enabled them to rent a movie at N400, for 2 days.

Previous probe

Meanwhile, members of the House had, on March 17, 2020, taken turns to criticise DSTV for refusing to introduce pay-per-view.

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Consequently, the House had resolved to set up the committee to probe into the matter, with the mandate to invite Federal Government agencies regulating the industry, including the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, and the Nigerian Communications Commission.

Again, on June 2, 2020, the House inaugurated an ad hoc committee to investigative the increment of subscription rates by Multichoice and other cable television service providers.

The committee, which the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, constituted and inaugurated, assured Nigerians of justice and fairness, saying that it would work towards making the providers adopt ‘pay per view’ system.

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Abiola has spent about 14 years in journalism. His career has covered some top local print media like TELL Magazine, Broad Street Journal, The Point Newspaper.The Bloomberg MEI alumni has interviewed some of the most influential figures of the IMF, G-20 Summit, Pre-G20 Central Bank Governors and Finance Ministers, Critical Communication World Conference.The multiple award winner is variously trained in business and markets journalism at Lagos Business School, and Pan-Atlantic University. You may contact him via email - [email protected]

5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Bimbo

    June 27, 2020 at 3:27 pm

    Hmmmm will be interested in the final outcome of this debate. Multichoice owners of dstv have always had the upper hand in this matter from day 1 , if you watch dstv or not ince you pay for that month thats it the consumer has no say to what happens to there viewing during that month…living in Nigeria where light is a big issue,if for instance you paid for a month or months and the power to that area is affected you’ve paid for your dstv and thats that. They make all the money we are left with consequences. If this pay as you go thing can be introduced it will help us save cash

  2. Emmanuel

    June 27, 2020 at 3:54 pm

    This is not the first time this pay per view is being investigated by House of Reps. It will yield no results and the investigation won’t change anything. I have not seen any investigation or probe by Senate of HoR that brought any meaningful results. All Multichoive need do is to dole out a few millions and that will end the probe

  3. Segun

    June 28, 2020 at 10:46 am

    We are tired of Dstv. They should borrow a leave from Startime. Startime operating pay as you View if you like and at the same time they operate monthly subscription which ever you want. If this is the only one thing house will do to help massess of this country, this shall be remembered forever.

  4. Ayeni Olubunmi

    June 29, 2020 at 2:05 am

    I pray something good comes out this time around. Nigerians are being short changed daily. One pays for this service and electricity providers will make it impossible for you to watch. In order not to lose your subscription for the month, you have to buy fuel to power your generator, double expenses! Come to think of it, how many hours a day do we watch programs on DStv. We need HELP!

  5. Pippo Inzaf

    July 3, 2020 at 12:40 am

    It’s sickening to know that nothing will happen to the address the rip off Nigerians are suffering at the hands of these monopolized satellite TV provided called multi choice.
    The new tariffs is a clear form of day light robbery, and our government don’t seem to give a rats ass…

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Around the World

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala resumes first day as WTO Director-General

Dr Okonjo-Iweala officially resumed duty as the DG of the WTO today, March 1, 2021.

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Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, former Nigerian Finance Minister and the first woman and African to be appointed as Director-General of the World Trade Organization resumed her first day of work as WTO chief.

This was disclosed in a social media statement on Monday morning by the WTO. Okonjo-Iweala said the WTO has lots of work to do and she feels ready to start

The trade organisation said: “Welcome to Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, on her first day as WTO Director-General! She makes history as the first woman and first African to take up this post.”

On her first day, Dr. Iweala said she is “coming into one of the most important institutions in the world and we have a lot of work to do. I feel ready to go.”

What you should know 

  • On February 15th 2021, Nigeria’s Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was officially appointed as the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation.
  • The United States and former Permanent Secretary Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Joe Keshi pointed out that the only way Nigeria as a country can benefit from her appointment is by being productive.
  • “She will not help you unless you are productive, she will not help you except you have something to sell, because her role as a DG of the World Trade Organization, the World Trade Organization is an organization that regulates global trade and except you have something to sell and you know put into the world market her role is to ensure that you get a fair deal and that you are not cheated in the whole process,” he said.

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Corporate Press Releases

Capitalism must be balanced with socialism – Niyi Adenubi

Niyi Adenubi, Executive Director at VFD Group chats about investments, capitalism and much more.

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The Executive Director, Institutional Business and Investor Relations, at VFD Group, Niyi Adenubi recently sat for a chat with Chinasa Ken-Ugwuh on her radio show called Social Conscious with ‘Nasa hosted on Africa Business Radio.

The focus was on the 21st-century capitalists’ dilemma: Social Impact or Profitable Value Creation. The conversation also featured ex-Diamond Bank GMD and Chief Sparkler at Sparkle, Uzoma Dozie.

As today’s corporate executives build and the world changes more and more, it has become apparent that the capitalism as practiced from eons may not be suitable for the yonder. “You have to balance economic prosperity and social development to take all stakeholders into consideration,” Niyi says.

Enjoy excerpts:

Who are the most critical stakeholders in your view – are they the customers and employees?

I think customers and employees are critical stakeholders. I totally agree. The most critical stakeholders are your customers because customers are directly correlated with your profitability. If you cannot serve your customers right, they will go somewhere else, and you will be losing money. They are always the number one. But a very close second in our company, is our employees. And it is very important especially now that we are hiring young people. We have graduate trainees’ programmes. These people come to us straight from university. Millennials and Generation Z are very different in terms of their aspirations. So, it is very important for us to start building our own culture in our company to manage them so that they can be optimal. We also have a minimum pay structure – one that ensures that everyone that works in VFD earns a certain minimum. This is very important. Of course, our regulator is quite important too and on the last, but not least are our capital providers – bankers, equity providers and shareholders – they are very important too.

How is VFD reacting to investors’ expectations on capitalism?

I think the investors are ready for this change. COVID has accelerated the pace for most people. The days of running a business primarily and solely for shareholders are gone. I think even employees demand that we are socially conscious. When we started our ESG program at the company, it was to make our internal stakeholders happy and we have been pushing for this for a long time. Ever since we became quite successful, we have been able to give back and that has encouraged our staff to give more in some of the things we do. On the social and governance side I think we have done quite a lot in our organization.

Do you believe in stakeholders’ capitalism over shareholders capitalism? Do you agree with the idea?

I sincerely believe in it. About six or seven years ago, I read this book by a French economist, Thomas Piketty, called ‘’Capitalism in the 21st century.’’ It was basically the summary of what is now trending and which the world is going through. We see more poverty, more famine, more climate change dislocating more farmers, more inequality in the world. For me, that was a wake-up call personally. It suggested that the world was returning to an age where the middle class is being eradicated.

I just picture a world where, for example, Nigeria, where the inequality is just so wide, that there will be security issues as we have now. At VFD Group we are very conscious to educate our shareholders of the importance of all stakeholders’ management; for example, the environment in which we are operating must benefit directly from what we are doing. Our staff must be directly beneficial both from the point of salary and profit-sharing and from the general standard of living. We will not squeeze ourselves just to maximize or earn an extra dollar. All those things are very important to me since I came to that actualization six or seven years ago, I have tried to incorporate them in the policies that shape the Group’s ESG and CSR policies.

At the point when you started to think like this, was there any resistance and how did you try to persuade them?

Yes, I think there is always resistance to change. But in my situation, there was none. It was quite logical.
Just look at the calculation that we did. On the return on capital, we always exceed the growth rate of the economy which means that richer people will go in a certain direction and if you don’t incorporate the right policy you will be squeezing the middle and getting more people poorer. So, it was not that hard to do and even on the investors’ relations side, even our local investors are aligning to the ideas. So, it has not been that difficult and with COVID we have pushed more in that direction.

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Most corporate leaders are moving into philanthropism these days. Do you think that there is capitalism agenda behind this CSR?

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I think there is a way that the world works and until we find a better way, we just have to use it. So, I completely understand what you are saying.

If I give money to a cause just because I want something back in return and if that is the motivation for me to do well and make that cause to happen, that will be my legacy. It is not bad. I particularly like the kind of philanthropy that is done in America. Americans give more money than anybody in the world. They also make more money than any body in the world. When they build a new hospital or when they build a new library or research center in a university, they want it name after them or stuff like that.

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What is your view on socialism?

I do agree that this is the period we should wear our socialism tag. At the height of the lockdown, it was very obvious that in a place like Nigeria where there are no social safety nets, asking people to stay at home while they are can’t feed, and their children are crying and dying, will make them become aggressive. And I believed the fallout of the #ENDSARS protests was as a result of that. We need to have a more balanced approach in handling problems. For me, I believe that more Nigerians are dying of hunger than are dying of COVID-19.

On CACOVID’s Covid-19 interventions

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I think the identification project is a very crucial one. The BVN project was a big one too. Once we get identification right in the country, that should solve a lot of our infrastructural problems in terms of identifying people to give them the palliatives or to send money to their accounts and to avert all those other disasters that happened to CACOVID. The uproar surrounding CACOVID could have been avoided if we had a way of identifying ourselves.

Do you find that your value, vision, and mission at VFD addresses all the stakeholders?

At VFD Group, our mission statement says in part about building a socially conscious ecosystem from the environment that we are operating. It is top priority for us as I said.

Our stakeholders are quite excited about it. Our customers are quite excited about it; our employees are quite excited about it and our shareholders are excited about it. It has always been a very conscious and deliberate thing for us.

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One part of it is to have this statement, how does it translate into the culture?

We have these recurring strategy sessions where we set goals for the organization. We are a goal-setting organization. Every year, we ask what we want to achieve that will be in line and in tune with our mission statement. We list them and through the course of the year, we evaluate for execution. We carry everybody along that helps us.

How else are you able to demonstrate this value apart from goal setting?

Our values are innovation, integrity, teamwork, and newly empathy. I would like to talk specifically on empathy. We had a strategy session in 2018 or thereabout to prepare for the new year and empathy generated a lot of debate in the organization amongst everybody.

The whole idea when we were pushing for empathy as a value is that it should drive our business. The key thing is if you can put yourself in the shoe of the other person either customers or another colleague or your regulator or your auditor and understand where they are coming, from there is less friction and it solves the problem. Our work is about providing solution.

If a customer calls and you answer the phone and maybe cannot solve the problems at that point because you don’t work directly in that business. For example, a customer calls for something with V Bank and the person that answers the call works with the Asset Management subsidiary, it is expected that you attempt to solve the problem before transferring in a professional way. Empathy does not mean that you are soft or vulnerable.

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