StarTimes, a Pay-TV provider has reaffirmed subscription affordability through the ‘pay-as-you-go model’ as it adds new contents.
The new contents to be offered by the company include Toonami, Ceebies, ST School Junior, ST School Senior, Human Right, Dunamis, Love Nature, Smithsonian, Colors TV, Sky News, Tiwa ‘n’ Tiwa, Filmbox and more.
Speaking during a virtual conference meeting, Marketing Manager of StarTimes, Viki Liu, who was represented by the Public Relations Manager, Mr Lazarus Ibeabuchi said that subscribers can still adopt the pay-as-you-view model with the introduction of the Nova bouquet for N900.
Meanwhile, Nigerians are really interested and maybe keying into the new amazing feature by StarTimes because it meets their long time yearnings of the ‘pay-as-you-view’ offer with many complaining it to be because of the epileptic power supply in the country.
Recall that about 3 months ago, the House of Representatives, began an investigation of cable and satellite television service providers in Nigeria over their high tariffs and monopolised bouquets, invited the company to answer questions over the much-talked-about ‘pay as you earn’.
Though it is an industry probe, the House specifically probed Digital Satellite Television, a South Africa-based provider owned by MultiChoice, for allegedly cheating its Nigerian subscribers by restricting them to prepaid plans.
Chairman of the committee, Unyime Idem, at an investigative hearing held in Abuja on Thursday, said that the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) summoned them to explain why DSTV and other service providers refused to introduce pay-per-view.
Meanwhile, MultiChoice has explained that there are some misunderstandings about what ‘Pay per View’ means.
Startimes’ spokesperson, Caroline Oghuma, said that not a service that enabled one to match consumption to subscription as was the case with a meter or mobile phone.
She said, “It is a type of pay television service by which a subscriber of a television service provider can purchase events to view via private broadcast. It usually applies to a one-off broadcast of high stakes games such as football, boxing and even wrestling matches.
“Pay per View service can be purchased via a cable or satellite TV provider as a non-refundable separate package in addition to a pre-existing subscription. An example of pay per view in action was the Mayweather vs. McGregor fight, aptly dubbed ‘The Money Fight’. In this case, subscribers had to each pay up to $100 for the bout in the US, and watch or not, the subscription ended with the 10 round fight.”
However, despite MultiChoice claim on why it may never work, Nigerians have faulted to adopt their rival, StarTimes’ stance if they still want them to keep their decoders intact without considering other options available.
According to Babawale Omar (Not real name), a DSTV agent in Ibadan, the choice of MultiChoice on the need to still maintain the existing bouquets may bounce back on them as the lockdown has exposed Nigerians to many opportunities and options.
“Why on earth will you expect me to pay for what I didn’t use? it’s pure thievery without gainsaying. There are many times my customers complain of not having electricity in their areas and end up losing the subscriptions for the month they are most affected,” he said.
A frequent subscriber of DStv, Fatai Ajeigbe who uses it to set up a football viewing centre narrates his ordeal, he said it would be really great to have the ‘pay-as-you-view’ offer.
“There are most times that we count our loses just because we don’t lose customers, we lose a lot during the pre-season when we often have just a few of our customers coming to watch football, it is always frustrating, we just have to subscribe to keep our major viewers intact.
“I can’t recall many times that I have to just use my personal money to complete the fee for the following month subscription because there are just a few matches, and viewers might not turn up especially when the big teams are not in a fierce, he lamented.
“Even when the season begins, we scarcely show football in the midweek except when there’s Champions and Europa Leagues? matches to complete the weekend shows, so it is more like saying that we are only available to our customers on weekends. It will b better to just bring it to our viewers when they need it rather than paying for a bouquet that we may not enjoy,” Fatai corroborated.
“Sincerely, I won’t think twice to get StarTimes if they are showing English Premier League and few major ones, it will pay to subscribe to their daily plan rather than the decapitating monthly one from DStv.” He retorted.
Like Fatai and the aforementioned person, Mrs Arowolo, a single mother explained that her favourite channel is African Magic Yoruba, except for her children who sometimes watch NatGeo wild, and cartoon network.
According to her, the best time she enjoyed her package was during the lockdown because she had to work from home, while her children watch Cartoon Network when she’s busy, she changes to African Magic Yoruba and directs her children to go read their books and attend their virtual classes.
While reacting to the ‘Pay-As-You-View’ offer, a business expert, Mr Arogundade said that MultiChoice is just creating her unhealthy competition for itself, and may lose a great many customers if they are pleased with varying contents ( Toonami, Ceebies, ST School Junior, ST School Senior, Human Right, Dunamis, Love Nature, Smithsonian, Colors TV, Sky News, Filmbox) that StarTimes is coming up with and if they can buy rights in Football Leagues, that’s what HITv did in 2013/14. They made DSTv lose many customers until it couldn’t manage the pace, if it had sustained it, Dstv maybe nowhere to be found today.
“Nigerians like cheap things with pleasurable offers, if StarTimes will offer them that, believe me, Nigerians will key into their products,” he added.
“It’s a choice of who’s giving us service at a cheaper rate.”