Friday, March 18, 2016

BREAKING. Besides South Africa, DStv subscribers in the rest of Africa spared a price hike in 2016; MultiChoice Africa says most countries won't see increases.

While South African DStv subscribers will see a stiff price hike from the end of this month, MultiChoice announced that most of the rest of Africa, besides South Africa, will be spared and not see a price increase this year.

MultiChoice Africa, a subsidiary of Naspers, announced that there will be no price increase for DStv subscribers in the majority of its African markets in 2016 - unless there's unexpected economic shocks impacting African currencies.

MultiChoice Africa says it continues to suffer from the "adverse impacts" from the economic environment across the continent. The pay-TV operator pays in dollar for the majority of its content acquisitions and in 2015 was forced to pass through stiff price increases.

In 2015, MultiChoice in Africa for the first time ever hiked DStv subscriptions for a second time in one year as African currencies tanked against the dollar. 

While the rand also dramatically weakened, South African DStv subscribers were spared a second price increase last year.

Second price hikes were however introduced in countries like Uganda and Kenya. In Nigeria MultiChoice upped DStv subscriptions by 20%, and between 21% and 30% in Zambia, leading to consumer outrage.

While the rest of Africa won't see DStv increases, in South Africa, the DStv Premium, DStv Extra and DStv Compact packages are however increasing from April by a whopping 8% or more – higher than inflation.

"Since subscribers are still under severe financial pressure, MultiChoice Africa has decided not to increase subscription prices for DStv in most of its markets in 2016," says the continent's largest pay-TV operator.

"We believe MultiChoice Africa is correctly responding to prevailing market conditions. Barring any further external economic shocks, we do not anticipate a price increase in 2016," says Imtiaz Patel, CEO of Naspers' video entertainment division.

"As a group, we believe in the longer term potential of our markets in Africa," says Naspers CEO, Bob van Dijk

"We will therefore provide the necessary financial support to MultiChoice Africa. We are in a position to do this because most of the Naspers group business (65% of revenue) is outside Africa, where times are better and our businesses are in good shape."