Nigerians Outraged as MultiChoice Hikes Tariffs Amid Economic Hardship

MultiChoice raises DStv and GOtv prices for the third time in eight months, citing increased business operation costs. The move sparks widespread anger among Nigerians already struggling with economic hardship and soaring inflation.

Nasiru Eneji Abdulrasheed
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Nigerians Outraged as MultiChoice Hikes Tariffs Amid Economic Hardship

Nigerians Outraged as MultiChoice Hikes Tariffs Amid Economic Hardship

Nigerians are reeling from MultiChoice's latest tariff increase for its DStv and GOtv satellite TV packages, marking the third price hike in just eight months. The move has sparked widespread anger and frustration among citizens already grappling with unprecedented economic hardship, soaring inflation, and a severe food crisis.

The tariff increase has far-reaching implications for the Nigerian economy, as it affects the purchasing power of citizens and exacerbates the already dire economic situation. This could lead to further social unrest and calls for government intervention to address the new, sources, inflation, fiscal, authorities, act.

The pay-TV provider announced the new rates, effective May 1, 2024, with the premium DStv bouquet rising from N29,500 to a staggering N37,000. MultiChoice attributed the increase to the "rise in the cost of business operations," but many Nigerians see it as a callous disregard for their financial struggles. "We understand the impact this change may have on you - our valued customer," MultiChoice stated, emphasizing its commitment to providing the best entertainment and viewing experience for subscribers.

Nigeria's inflation rate reached a staggering 31.7% in February 2024, making essential commodities like bread, which saw an 81% price increase between October 2023 and March 2024, unaffordable for many. The weakening Naira against the US Dollar has driven up MultiChoice's content acquisition costs, as most of its coveted content, including the English Premier League and international channels, is purchased in dollars.

The global broadcasting rights market, particularly for the English Premier League and UEFA Champions League, is experiencing a price surge, impacting hikes, subscription, prices in all territories, including Nigeria. However, a comparative analysis reveals that Nigerians might be paying less for DStv content than some other African countries. In Kenya, DStv Premium costs approximately ₦109,200, while in South Africa, it costs around ₦69,104.

Why this matters: Despite the court order restraining MultiChoice from implementing the price hike, the company has gone ahead with the increase. Activist lawyer Madubuach Idam has filed a suit against MultiChoice, seeking an order to regulate or meter its decoder to enable customers to pay per view. "MultiChoice has decided to increase their subscription, so we can't continue to contain this nonsense," Idam stated, demanding that the company make its services fairer to Nigerian consumers.

As Nigerians grapple with the effects of fuel subsidy removal and rising costs of living, MultiChoice's tariff increase has added to their financial burdens. With Nigeria's underdeveloped local television network and uncompetitive domestic sporting leagues, many see DStv as an essential service, fueling public anger towards thecompany. The focus on DStvprice hikes has overshadowed the critical issue of food inflation, which could escalate into a national security concern if left unchecked.

Key Takeaways

  • MultiChoice raises DStv and GOtv prices for the third time in 8 months.
  • New rates effective May 1, 2024, with premium DStv bouquet rising to N37,000.
  • Nigeria's 31.7% inflation rate and weakening Naira drive up content acquisition costs.
  • Court order restrains price hike, but MultiChoice implements it anyway.
  • Activist lawyer files suit seeking to regulate or meter decoders for pay-per-view.