The issue of adopting the Pay per View model against the usual monthly subscription model which is obtainable in Nigeria has been a subject of discourse. Some Nigerians believe strongly that the monthly subscription model by Digital Terrestrial Service providers is geared towards exploiting Nigerians.
Sometimes ago, a Senate (Jones Onyereri) representative from Imo State raised a motion at the Nigerian House of Representatives concerning the issue of Digital Terrestrial Television Service in Nigeria, advocating that Pay per View should be adopted in Nigeria other than the subscription based models by the likes of GOTV and DSTV.
He argues that Nigerians are made to pay for what they do not consume through the monthly subscription scheme presently obtainable in the service charges of major Digital Television Broadcasting service providers like DSTV, Star times and GOTV.
Personally, I think it is germane to have a full grasp of how payment models work across borders. When you have understood how digital television stations operate locally and internationally, it gives you a standpoint to present your arguments logically.
Is Pay per View Obtainable in South Africa?
Nigerians argue that Pay per View is available in South Africa if South Africa is adopting such model, have we done what they have done to make this happen?
No doubt, the future of television has been identified as Pay per View, and this apparently has led to the South African Video-on-Demand market to a saturation point. We have seen the launch of OnTapTV.com, while Naspers, the South Africa Media giant rolled out its ShowMax service. These are platforms where you can watch some TV programs, in as much as you have data, you pay as you go.
For instance, South Africa hasn’t gotten to the point of saying they are so are craving in the vast broadband network, which is even worse in the case of Nigeria, but Naspers group is taking a gamble on content demand in South Africa.
However, Naspers seem to put its bets on a Netflix type platform where consumers can enjoy favorite series titles, movies, and kids’ channels from the U.S, the U.K.
But, lots of costly data is needed to get perfect streaming. About 400MB will get you one episode of your favorite series, while 1 Gig of data or more will allow you to watch a 2-hour movie.
Arthur Goldstuck, Director, World Wide Worx says, “The price is sweet for consumers, but it will be interesting to see how consumers react especially with the slow uptake of broadband in the country.”
Why Some Nigerians Advocate for Pay per View
Obviously, the pay as you go (Pay per View) is a concept that is mostly advocated for. However, everybody likes it.
The hunger by some Nigerians for Digital TV Pioneers to adopt the model could be attributed to several reasons.
For instance, when you are on Pay per View model, you may start thinking of how to maximize Netflix. You can easily get a VPN and start watching any content that comes your way, in fact, whatever content, you want with just $10 a month.
This is what is usually obtainable in some countries like USA and France, however, if you are crave for fresh contents or any live television program this will not work. With VPN, Netflix and Pay per View Model, you can only have access to old contents. If you don’t mind watching old contents, then you can utilize Netflix to the fullest.
Financial Implications to Nigerians
When Tim Jacobs, Chief Executive Officer, Multichoice spoke with Premium Times in an interview, “Pay per View is a very simple financial equation. If you want to do pay per view, you have to take whatever content the person wants to watch. Let us take the obvious one, the English Premiership League (EPL).
You take the cost of the EPL, you say how many subscribers do I have, then I divide the cost by the number of customers that want to watch EPL, and that’s how many people pay for it,”.
“I have got two examples that can show you what has happened elsewhere in the world. In the U.S., the Manny Pacquiao and Mayweather fight, if you wanted to watch it for one evening, one day, cost $99.
It’s not a full day; it’s a couple of hours. Rugby World Cup in the US at the moment, as I understand it, is also close to $90, $89 or something, for the duration of the World Cup. So let’s call that a month and a half.
“If you want to watch Rugby World Cup in the US, you pay a single fee of almost $90. Nigerians are paying for Premium subscription for just over $60 a month equivalent. That $60 a month gives you all of the content.
Okay, maybe Nigerians don’t want to watch Rugby, but the same principles apply if we want to charge you the same way – pay as you go for the EPL. Remember, the EPL is a right cost and much more expensive than the Rugby World Cup or the Manny Pacquiao fight.
It is not stuff that is happening now, and with sports TV, in particular, it only means anything to people when they watch it live. For instance, nobody wants to go three weeks after Chelsea plays Man U and say watch it over again. It has 10 percent the value of the live match.
So I don’t know if that just helps Nigerians to understand a little bit about how the pay per view module works,”
The monthly subscription remains a better option for Nigerians at the moment. However, Pay per View model, in my opinion, can only work when there is robust infrastructure, and you are limited to some contents.
Written by: Chukwuemeka Fred Agbata Jnr. He presents Tech Trends on Channels Television and Tech on Wheels with CFA radio show airing on Love FM Abuja, PH, Umuahia & ABS Awka. He blogs on www.techsmart.ng