Telcom Satelite Tv, TSTv, is gearing up to take on DSTV and StarTimes in the Nigerian payTV market.
TSTv is owned by ABS and Telcom Satellites TV. The company’s signals will be distributed on the ABS 3A Africa beam, located at 3 degrees west.
Its approach is to simultaneously Provide data and video services, TSTv is looking at using the pay-as-you-go but a prepaid model. This model is the opposite in the case of DSTV, the country’s major payTV company with over 4 million subscribers.
A media analyst who spoke to PageOne.ng on the implications to the market said TSTv’s pay-As-You-Consume model, is an approach that many Nigerians will find appealing given the special circumstances of lack of steady power and lifestyle of many working class people.
However, the provision of data services alongside video pits the company against traditional ISP and mobile carriers who now depend on data for the bulk of their revenue growth. An analyst in the IT sector said the company will do itself a lot of good it quickly positions itself for the ‘Internet-for-home’ side of the market as this will carve a niche for its services. However, the strong position of mobile Internet usage, many young people might not find the data proposition appealing.
TSTv is also planning to use the entry-level pricing approach that will see customers paying a little below the market price. Using the data plus video model, subscribers cannot decide what bandwidth of data they prefer which will determine how much they pay.
The product is bundled to give every subscriber about 20 gigabytes monthly for a subscription of NGN3,000. Moreover, it is not clear if TSTv will unbundle its services where subscribers can choose whether to go with data or video only.
As per content, the company might go head to head with DSTV in sports and news contents. Bein Sports, a sports network has the rights for the English Premier League and Champions League in certain markets. DSTV has exclusive rights to EPL matches for Nigeria, this might make it difficult for TSTv to show key matches in the league. (PageOne.ng cannot confirm if the DSTV’s contract is no longer exclusive).
The importance of having the EPL and Champions League is critical for the Nigerian payTV companies as research has shown that male head of households is the decision maker in the choice of channels and subscription payment. DSTV took the esclusive rights to the EPL and Champions League after HiTV, a local payTV company went under in 2011 due to debt burdens and board tussle. Analysts in the business said DSTV’s position and surviaval as the number one is hinged on holding tight to these TV rights.
Other challenges ahead of TSTv might be more technical than financial. Data services are not that reliable in spite of the technical inflation in prices. The appeal of data and video might see a surge in adoption leading to a busy network.
Analysts fear that TSTv might need to raise its prices to adjust to realities of surging costs of service delivery. DSTV might also step up its game by simply reducing the number of bouquette to give low-end subscribers more treason to stick to its services.
In recent times, new players such as Kwese TV has also emerged. TSTv might also be welcoming Aevolve TV as well. In the end, analysts agree that subscribers might be the winning side in the game.