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Senate Stops MultiChoice, Other Pay-TV Services From Hiking Prices

Senate Stops MultiChoice, Other Pay-TV Services From Hiking Prices
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The Nigerian senate has stopped MultiChoice and other pay-tv service providers from increasing hiking the prices of their service bouquets.

Senate also ordered the providers to adopt the Pay-per View instead of the monthly payment models they operate.

This is coming on the heels of complaints by Nigerians who have continued to lament the price increase by these pay-tv providers.

ALSO READ: MTN, GLo, Other Telecom Operators To Increase Tariff On Data, Calls

Recall that MultiChoice, for instance, has frequently increased the prices of its DStv and GOtv  bundles.

This is regardless of the current biting economic situation in the country.

Senate wades in:

However, during plenary, the senate ordered all pay-tv service providers in the country to review their bouquet prices downwards.

It said this is to cushion the effect of economic hardship in the country.

The lawmakers gave the order after senators debated the demand by Nigerians who called for a review of pay-tv prices downward.

Similarly, they also directed all pay-tv providers to adopt the pay-per-view model of subscription.

They said pay-tv services should offer similar subscription models as power and telecom companies do.

Senate, therefore, directed the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, to see to it that pay-tv service providers review their prices downward as well as adopt pay-per view model.

Why senate is stopping MultiChoice:

According to Senator Abba Moro, MultiChoice increased its prices without considering the current economic situation in Nigeria.

According to him:

“MultiChoice Nigeria willfully and perpetually increases the cost of its bundles because there is no regulation whatsoever in the area of fixing rates and without recourse to the economic situation of the country.

“MultiChoice has again raised the cost of DStv and GOtv bundles.

“Nigerians are demanding that, rather than paying fixed rates for packages monthly, pay-tv service providers should introduce a subscription model which allows subscribers pay-per-view to enable them to match their TV consumption to subscription as it is with the case of electricity metering and mobile telephony.”

Another Senator, Yusuf A Yusuf backed the downward review of the prices.

According to him:

“This is high time we stand up firmly and face MultiChoice to make sure we protect Nigerians.

“I support that their rates is scaled downward.

“And at the same time, there should also be a luxury charge on DStvNg to make sure that Nigerians also benefit in another way.”

Meanwhile, Senator Barau Jibrin, accused the pay-Tv operators in Nigeria of short-changing Nigerians.

He said thus:

“They (pay-tv) increase fees whenever they like without considering the service they provide to Nigerians.

“Their service is poor, they don’t give what Nigerians are supposed to have.”

“Because of the nature of electricity we have in this country, sometimes someone will pay but lack of light won’t allow the person enjoy such services yet once the month ends, that money goes.

“There should be a system where there will be pay-per-view.”

“Again, the regulators should do the needful by not allowing an increase of fees by these entities the way they like.

“It is not in the interest of our people. I thereby support this motion because we need to stand for the interest of our people.”

Also speaking, the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan condemned the plans to further hike prices.

He said thus:

“What DStv Nigeria is doing here, they can’t do it in many countries, but here they do it and get away with it. So we need to have a public hearing.

“Our ad-hoc committee should be given the mandate to do a whole scale investigation.”

“The Committee has one month to report back to the Senate and at the end of the day, we should have all these unnecessary payments we make to DSTV Nigeria reversed if they can’t justify it.”

Implications:

The directives by the senate halting Multichoice and other pay-tv service providers from hiking prices is a welcome development.

This is because, while Nigerians are currently facing biting economic situations that the least experience they need is price hike.

Meanwhile, adopting pay-per-view could be of greater advantage to Nigerians too as against the monthly billings by the providers.

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