By Odunewu Segun
MultiChoice, owner of DStv, a brand with over 1,649,000 subscribers in Nigeria has enjoyed a near monopoly of the Pay TV platform, relying on its dominance of the European sporting world to hold sway as the country’s favorite.
Many rivals had come, and fallen by the way side. While few are still struggling to stand segment competition. TELCOM Satellite Television (TStv), a Direct-to-Home (DTH) Cable TV recently launched in Nigeria has assured prospective subscribers that it would march DSTV with superlative sports channels as well as affordability in battling for the Nigerian market share.
In terms of cost, DStv’s subscription is expensive. The cheapest package (DStv access) costs #1,900 per month, but the channels are limited. The most expensive bouquet with all the channels costs #14,700 per month. However, unlike DStv, TStv offers a pay-as-you-go, allowing subscribers to pay for what they consume.
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With start-up of 70 premium channels and a maximum subscription fee of N3, 000, while also accommodating as low as N200 and N500 for a period of time, TStv is certainly out to give DStv a run for its money.
TStv’s initial subscription cost, including a decoder, a dish and a remote control, is N5, 000. Another added advantage coming with the subscription is that after buying the decoder, subscribers will get up to 20GB of data as bonus, while subsequent full monthly subscription through e-payment platform will come with 10GB of data.
The Pay TV decoder also comes with PVR (Personal Video Recorder) Decoder which allowed viewers greater control over their viewing experience with functions like pause, rewind, forward, save and record of programmes of interest, features regarded as luxury with DStv.
Subscribers will also get complimentary internet service, enabled Wi-Fi, as well as video calls and video conferencing services.
However, the critical subscription platform many Nigerians are looking for which is Pay-Per-View seems to be lacking in TStv as what obtains in the new company offering is Pay As You Go which can only allow subscribers a limited option to pause their subscription when not in use for not more than seven days in a month, thus extending at most, 37 days monthly subscription.
Recalls that the federal government on Sunday night during the flag off of the TStv transmission in Abuja, announced the concession of three-year tax relief to the new platform.
According to the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, the unveiling of TStv would totally redefine the pay per view platform and, by extension, the television industry, by making it possible for people in all segments of society to enjoy high quality entertainment.
He said what TStv has done is to democratise the media and entertainment industry and make it possible for all to have access to the best entertainment in the world. “Just like a Nigerian also made history by crashing the cost of telephony in Nigeria, I am glad that another Nigerian is now coming forward also to crash the price of Pay TV”.
As the competition hots up, some Nigerians are skeptical that DSTV may be plotting a strategy that may end up boxing TStv to a tight corner; the first gainer of the tax free scheme of the federal government in the industry.