Tag Archives: Consumer Protection Council

MultiChoice appeals price rise ruling

African pay TV group MultiChoice, parent company of digital platforms DSTV and GOtv, has appealed a court ruling that has blocked it from increasing its prices.

The Naspers-owned company was recently taken to court by the Consumer Protection Council (CPC), which demanded that it stop all implementation of its new subscription rates in Nigeria.

On August 23, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court in Abuja, ordered the company to halt the tariff hike until further notice.

However, MultiChoice Nigeria has appealed against the ruling and stated that it will continue to maintain the new tariff, describing the ruling as “an affront to the free market economy.”

In a statement, it added: “We have now filed a notice of appeal and an application for stay of execution, pending the hearing of the appeal. The CPC has been accordingly served with the requisite processes.”

In July, MultiChoice Nigeria announced plans to increase its subscription tariff from August 1, citing the nation’s economic situation and costs of maintenance as the reasons for the decision.

Many Nigerians decried the action, arguing that it was effectively “extortion,” and pleaded for government intervention.

MultiChoice is one of the leading broadcasting companies in Nigeria, where it began operations in 1993. Its pay TV services DSTV and GOtv provide video entertainment for subscribers in 49 sub-Saharan African countries.

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DStv viewers demand pay-as-you-view

Nigerian subscribers to pay TV operator DStv have expressed their dissatisfaction with the services offered by parent company MultiChoice and are calling for a change in the law.

They are asking the federal government to force the Naspers-owned South African company to introduce a pay-as-you-view billing system.

This, they say, would ensure they get better value for their subscriptions, as they currently pay for services they do not receive.

Nigerian businessman Uzochukwu Nwafor told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN): “They need to put a regulation in place to help subscribers enjoy the money they paid to view the programmes.

“With that [pay-as-you-view] billing, we can save some money. I see subscribing to DStv programmes as a waste of money; it does not happen abroad or even in South Africa.”

Civil servant Silvanus Okonkwo also told NAN: “Many companies come to Nigeria and rip us off because our policies are not being implemented. Again, DStv does not have serious competitors and that is why the company is behaving as it pleases.

“The pay-as-you-go billing that telecommunications operators offer is supposed to be applicable to DStv,” he continued, adding that the National Assembly should concentrate on the number of subscribers available so that bouquet prices can be reduced.

Another DStv subscriber, Ishmael Lawal, said the decoder was not working properly as he usually receives poor signals. He said: “The company cuts off subscriptions two days before expiration without warning. Again, they keep repeating programmes when one had paid to get new and trending programmes.”

A source at the Consumer Protection Council said it had taken MultiChoice to court over the issue.

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