Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Can TSTV Really Challenge DsTV in Cable TV service in Nigeria?

It is no longer a news that a new satellite television, TSTV is in town. With the Federal Government announcement of a three-year tax relief and introduction of the 'pay-as-you-watch' offer by the firm, some Nigerians who are sick and tired of DsTV monopoly and concurrent price increase are already considering TSTV.



Speaking during the launch of the new cable TV, Alhaji Mohammed said the unveiling of TSTV has totally redefined the PayTV platform and, by extension, the TV industry, through the provision of access to people in all segments of society to enjoy high quality entertainment.

"What TSTV has done is to democratize the media and entertainment industry and make it possible for all to have access to the best entertainment in the world. Just like a Nigerian also made history by crashing the cost of telephony in Nigeria, I am glad that another Nigerian is now coming forward also to crash the price of PayTV," he said.

The Minister said the advent of Digital Switch Over in broadcasting in Nigeria has created a paradigm shift in the television industry, where compelling contents will now attract viewership.
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed (right), and the Managing Director/CEO, TSTV, Dr. Bright Echefu (left), at the unveiling of the PayTV platform in Abuja.
Alhaji Mohammed said the Creative Industry played a critical role, along with other non-oil sector players, in pulling Nigeria's economy out of recession, and that the government plans to develop the industry to contribute 5% to the GDP, as against its current contribution of 1.36% by 2020.

He added that the National Broadcasting Commission and his Ministry would organise a workshop on Nov. 28 to address the challenge of Audience Measurement.

Earlier, Managing Director/CEO of TSTV Africa, Echefu Bright Ikechukwu has said at least 5000 Nigerians to be employed by the company has it begins operations.

Dr. Echefu said that TStv Africa, which had gone through a lot of challenges, was born to liberalise PayTV in the country, make it affordable to every Nigerians with added values.

He said for the first time, Nigerians could now enjoy Pay Per View because with TStv, “subscription runs as you watch and It has the facility to pause your subscription when you travel”.

Echefu said that TStv for a start has 70 premium channels model with the cheapest pay-TV in Africa with maximum subscription fee of N3000.

He said as a fully Nigerian brand with consideration for the masses, TStv is not classified and it has a model that accommodate subscription as low as N200 as N500 for a period of time.

The CEO said TStv came with PVR (Personal Video Recorder) Decoder which allowed viewers greater control over their viewing experience with functions like pause, rewind, forward, save and record of programmes of interest.

Echefu said that once you subscribe to TStv, you will also get complimentary internet service, enabled Wi-Fi, as well as video calls and video conferencing services.

“It has an array of amazing TV channels with premium entertainment, educative programs that cut across all genres”, he said. “The genres included, News, Music, General entertainment, documentary, movies, religious, sports, health, kids, fashion and lifestyle that better define the uniqueness of Nigeria’s diverse culture and traditional values.”

But it remain to be seen whether TSTV do have what it takes to pose any challenge on DsTV market share.

The likes of Trend TV, Multi TV, Consat, African Cable Television (ACTV), CTL, Metro Digital, Montage Cable Network, My TV, Daarsat, Strong TV and even StarTimes that have all pitched their tenent in the satellite service market have not been able to really compete with DsTV due to the reach content, and quality services offered by the South African company.

On Saturday, 1st of April 2017, Nigerian DSTV users were hit with a shocking announcement revealing the increase in subscription charges of every DSTV package by five percent with effect from 1st May 2017. The announcement marked the fifth time DSTV is increasing its subscription fee in Nigeria since its inception in 2009. From the information made available, the price of DSTV Premium has increased by 55 percent from N9,000 which it charged in 2009 to N13,980 in 2017 while that of DSTV Access has increased by 26 percent since 2009.

Crucially, the pay TV business is driven not just by content but, at the top end, by the quality of such content. In this regard, DSTV have continually executed a brilliant strategy of signing multi-year, pan-African content licensing deals that enables them not only offer premium content to subscribers but to also keep this content largely exclusive and off the hands of would-be competitors. Basically, competitors will, at best, offer second rate content and as a result will be unable to attract enough subscriptions to ensure long-term survival and profitability.

A few years ago, HiTV- a now defunct Nigerian pay TV company- launched its services. Its trump-card was the acquisition of broadcast rights of the English Premier League for the 2007-2010 negotiation period. Many saw this as a significant dent on DSTV’s operations as, having snagged exclusive rights to the English Premier League in Nigeria, HiTV looked like it was set to grow into a real competitor.

While DSTV’s bottom-line and subscription numbers may have taken a hit over a loss of some of its Nigerian market share, the company’s operations in multiple markets assuaged the effects of losing some of its Nigerian subscribers. In contrast, while DSTV is in operation and generates revenues in multiple countries, HiTV was solely operative in the Nigerian market thus had a thinner pool of generated revenues. Incidentally, due to various reasons, HiTV could not hold on to the coveted Premier League rights for the 2010-2013 negotiation window after the British value of the rights increased by around 600 million pounds. Capitalizing on HiTV’s inability to retain the rights, DSTV regained the rights to broadcast the English Premier League in Nigeria. HiTV services were stopped in 2011, one year after failing to regain the rights to the Premier League and DSTV have since regained whatever market share was lost.

Since TSTV launch on October 1st, 2017 Nigerians have since taken to social media to mock DsTV, hoping TSTV will put an end to the South Africa company's dominance.

But the fact is... Competitors with single market operations will struggle to rival DSTV as its cash-flow and large-scale operations mean that the company is well poised to cope with the emergence on local competitors and see them off.

We wait to see how TSTV will win the heart of Nigerians through its offerings.

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