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Fact-checking claim Nigerians pay more to watch DStv and other assertions

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Recently, MultiChoice has found itself at the heart of a storm, grappling with legal battles and a wave of public outrage from Nigerians. From controversial price hikes to a hefty court-imposed fine, the company’s journey has been anything but smooth. 

The South African satellite entertainment company owns and operates major services such as DStv, GOtv, Showmax, M-Net, SuperSport, Irdeto, and KingMakers, serving 50 Sub-Saharan African countries. Social media has been awash with claims amid these events, adding to the ongoing controversies.

In this article, DUBAWA fact-checked the top five statements that have captivated the online community, separating fact from fiction to uncover the truth. 

Claim 1: Nigerians pay more on subscriptions than other countries

Verification


DUBAWA selected DStv Premium, the highest package in most African countries where MultiChoice operates. On the 46 DStv countries’ websites accessible, we checked the prices they went for per month and converted them to dollars for easy understanding. 

Our findings showed that while most pay between $50 and $82, four countries fall to the extreme. In DRC, DStv Premium costs $105, and in Mozambique, $93.93. In Nigeria, the same goes for $24.49; in Angola, subscribers pay $21.27 monthly.

The cost of DStv Premium in the 46 African countries is visualised below:

Fact-checking claim Nigerians pay more to watch DStv and other assertions

Claim 2: GOtv decoder is now sold at N66,000, DStv decoder, N106,000.

Verification

DUBAWA visited the DStv office located in Wuse Zone 1, Abuja. The Manager, who preferred to be called Madam Esther, explained that the price of a DStv decoder (with dish) was recently reduced from N115,700 to N57,900. However, the cost of GOtv has remained at N19,900. 

“The price was high some weeks ago but the price has now come down,” she stated.

When asked if the prices differ from dealer to dealer, she said, “That is the official price.” However, it could increase if subscription and installation charges are added.

Fact-checking claim Nigerians pay more to watch DStv and other assertions
DStv office, Wuse Zone 1. Photo Source: Sunday Awosoro/DUBAWA.
Fact-checking claim Nigerians pay more to watch DStv and other assertions

Claim 3: MultiChoice has recorded a $38 million pre-tax loss in the 2023/2024 financial year.

Verification 

Media platforms like Reuters, Premium Times, and Vanguard reported a ZAR706 million, equivalent to a $38 million loss before tax, in MultiChoice’s financial year that ended March 31, 2024. This loss was attributed to currency volatility and weak consumer spending.

“Volatile and weaker local currencies, power challenges in markets like South Africa, and a weak consumer environment due to rising inflation and high interest rates have created an extremely challenging environment for the group's customers and operating segments," MultiChoice said to Reuters

Likewise, the company recorded declining subscribers as “consumers could not afford to pay consistently for its products.” 

Fact-checking claim Nigerians pay more to watch DStv and other assertions

Claim 4: DStv lost 1.6 million subscribers over the past year.

Verification

In its summary of the recently concluded financial year, MultiChoice confirmed that it experienced a 9% decline in its overall active subscriber base. However, the company did not provide a breakdown of the number of subscribers making up this percentage.

“Given the challenging consumer environment, overall active subscribers declined by 9%. This was mainly due to a 13% decline in the Rest of Africa business, with Nigeria, Angola, and Zambia being most affected, and the South African business was more resilient, declining by only 5%,” the statement read.

Claim 5: DStv lost subscribers in Nigeria.

Verification

According to MultiChoice's statement, a 13% decline was recorded from other African countries, including Nigeria, Angola, and Zambia. This added to the overall 9% decline. 

Fact-checking claim Nigerians pay more to watch DStv and other assertions
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