Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Furious DStv subscribers in Kenya angry about not getting BBC Worldwide's BBC First, BBC Earth channels; MultiChoice says its 'too expensive'.

Furious DStv subscribers in Kenya are angry and outraged with the satellite pay-TV provider MultiChoice for refusing to give them new channels BBC First (DStv 119) and BBC Earth (DStv 174), saying these channels from BBC Worldwide are "too expensive" to carry.

With the change and split from BBC Entertainment and BBC Knowledge to BBC First and BBC Brit and BBC Earth, Kenya's DStv subscribers are up in arms about losing out and being unable to continue to watch content and shows they've been seeing until now.

While DStv Premium subscribers in Kenya are paying for a premium DStv service, they're not getting BBC First which is now the BBC Worldwide channel showing series like Downton Abbey and Doctor Who for instance, or BBC Earth which is the factual entertainment and documentary channel that replaced BBC Knowledge.

DStv subscribers in Kenya only get BBC Brit - but that channel doesn't have the sought-after and most liked new British entertainment programming.

Kenyan DStv subscribers no longer have any way of watching or keeping up with British series and programming, suddenly cut off from Brit telly they've watched and followed like the soap Eastenders.

Gone is the ability of these DStv subscribers in Kenya to follow and keep up with shows like Luther, Sherlock, Peaky Blinders and new shows like Wolf Hall, Atlantis and the upcoming War and Peace that's all shown just on the new BBC First.

DStv subscribers in Kenya says MultiChoice lied when the satellite pay-TV provider said shows like soap Eastenders would be back and that South African DStv subscribers are "favoured" over Kenyan subscribers.

While MultiChoice in South Africa, Botswana, Malawi, Namibia, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe are carrying BBC First, the BBC Worldwide channel is not given to DStv subscribers in countries like Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Nigeria or Tanzania - as well as dozens others.

MultiChoice in Kenya says BBC First is "too expensive" to give the premium BBC Worldwide channel to DStv subscribers in the country and that MultiChoice can't make a "fair commercial return" if BBC First and BBC Earth are made available.

BBC First and BBC Earth have been made even more "unaffordable" in Kenya according to MultiChoice due to the dramatic currency devaluations that's been taking place in Kenya, as well as several other African countries.

"MultiChoice Kenya had to make the commercial decision to not acquire BBC First and BBC Earth as these channels proved to be too expensive for the business to gain a fair commercial return and would have affected our long term sustainability," says MultiChoice Kenya.

"Negotiations for these channels have been further exacerbated by the inflationary effects of a devaluating currency, which made the acquisition of these channels unaffordable."

"We acknowledge that our Kenyan viewers are disappointed at missing certain BBC programmes only available on BBC First and we sincerely apologize for this."

"Subscriber satisfaction is a high priority for us. Unlike free-to-air, our business model is dependent on subscriptions. If we lose subscribers it negatively impacts our revenue. The ability to offer our subscribers what they want to watch, at the price points they can afford, is always a delicate balance."

"Rightly so, we are in the process of looking at all the options available to us to address the complaints we have received. We are not able to provide timelines at this point. Please bear with us while we review this situation," says MultiChoice Kenya.