MultiChoice (DStv, GOtv) Challengers and the MTN Factor in Nigeria

MultiChoice (DStv, GOtv) Challengers and the MTN Factor in Nigeria

MultiChoice, the brand owner of DStv, has a problem in Nigeria. Looking at the comments on Tekedia, it is evident that Nigerians do not admire this brand. If MultiChoice wants to thrive, it needs to fix that image dislocation. Yes, you cannot be the messenger of entertainment which most do not like. In various combinations of words, the citizens are clear: go home DStv; we do not like monopoly. All efforts to make market sense to the members did not work. On pure market analysis, this company relies on a raw material (TV rights), and the price of this product has been increasing even when the Nigerian naira has been losing value, and consequently would need to raise rates to stay in business. But many do not care!

Without any doubt, the commenters made it clear: MultiChoice, we do not believe you. Yes, we do not think you are operating at a loss. The certainty of that conclusion could not be mistaken when some write, “Let them go!” Of course, MultiChoice is not leaving Nigeria because the future of MultiChoice is tethered in Nigeria. Its recent deal with Netflix and Amazon Prime must have been built on Africa’s largest economy and the most populous one.

Sample of comments

Almost everything in Nigeria works in opposite direction, so while governments are traditionally there to protect the poor and vulnerable groups, Nigerian government is more concerned with making sure that the rich are very comfortable. How many people subscribe to DSTv and its constituents in Nigeria? Less than six million, such a luxury! Yet, it’s the sort of things our government is even concerned about.

Well, since we live in strange land, the same way the government borrowed five hundred million dollars to make NTA digital, amidst depleted revenue, it can as well bankroll NTA to purchase the sports rights! You cannot beat Nigeria when it comes to doing things that are absurd.

The same way DISCOs cannot increase energy bill, even when naira has tanked, to serve Nigerians, you must be a magician; no wonder nothing works.

We want all the best things life can offer, yet no one sits down to calculate the cost, just keep the price the same, irrespective of input costs.

Our education is faulty, it failed to liberate minds here.


I guess you are one of the rich Nigerians enjoying and subscribing to the dstv repeated and outdated contents, it’s not wrong if the government tries to regulate their activity, do you remember how many indigenous pay tv that has come and died bcoss of the so called company by acquiring exclusive right to contents which we pay hard to watch, do you remember some year back the amount of dollars they repatriated from Nigeria to their country of birth some years back?, Now talk of discos how many dollars has been spent in Nigeria on electricity since the days of PDP in Nigeria to date, common 18 hrs light we don’t have, but you want price to always increase when we don’t have value for the money hard earned and paid to these discos for services we hardly enjoy, guy I think you have a rethink and let’s support what the government has done in this regards.


At the time DSTV was making huge profit in Nigeria did they complain?
That monopoly they have been enjoying has to stop. We can’t continue this way, is this how they pay in South Africa?
Let them go!

That takes me to potential MultiChoice challengers in Nigeria. First, there is none. IROKOtv has stalled for such a combat. TStv experienced an effervescence and disappeared. Largely, the only challenger is online streaming from foreign solution providers. Unfortunately, streaming online is not that cheap. It has two cost elements – the subscription to the player and the broadband cost. The latter is a bigger cost element since not many people in Nigeria can afford to watch hours of videos online. The cost of that broadband in Nigeria for ten games can pay for whatever DStv charges for a month!

Yet, for everything happening, there is one major problem DStv has to overcome: MTN Nigeria. Many members on Tekedia and LinkedIn connected to that. It has to do with MTN Nigeria per-minute billing at the early phase of its product in Nigeria. Then, MTN claimed that per-second billing was impossible, meaning that MTN  charged Nigerians the same for a 59 second call as for a second one. But with the arrival of Gloworld and its per-second billing, MTN quickly released the same feature it said was not possible. That pendulum is why many do not believe DStv since MultiChoice is South African, like MTN. Sounds familiar with DStv’s lack of pay per view in Nigeria? Simply, DStv is lying like MTN, they reason!

Another South African company, MTN claimed it is not possible to implement bill by the seconds, akin to pay per view. They made threats of network crash, dollars needed for equipment upgrade and good excuses. Recall that their exclusivity expired. GLO launched their service with billing by second. MTN almost immediately implemented the same billing model, to remain relevant. DSTV are free to leave Nigerian if the cannot follow Nigeria’s business model (Tekedia comment)


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10 thoughts on “MultiChoice (DStv, GOtv) Challengers and the MTN Factor in Nigeria

  1. Multichoice is not the problem, the problem is internal, and without fixing it, whoever replaces MultiChoice would suffer the same fate.

    Nigeria is perhaps the only country where its citizens want to enjoy luxury without paying for it, they don’t even know how to boycott, rather they want you to serve them at a price determined by them, because the default thinking is that foreign companies are making a kill here, and therefore must be stopped!

    Knowledge of finance and basic economics is poor here, so people resort to making wild claims and hyperbole; nobody wants to do the arithmetic to arrive at the actual input costs of what they want to purchase at giveaway prices. Without addressing this fundamental disconnect, companies will continue to struggle here, except they resort to substandard products.

    If naira loses 40% of its value, and you increase what you sell N200 to N270, in the eyes of Nigerians you have increased price, but in reality you haven’t! This is why politicians keep struggling here, and that virus is being spread to private companies; it’s a dangerous mindset, mass education is the only thing that can save Nigeria.

    If we don’t give businesses survival chance, we will continue to rail against monopoly.

    1. No no no……… Your argument should be totally depleted. Nigeria have one of the best educated masses in your areas of argument. And no politician is struggling. Would you rather say that politicians are well educated in Nigeria?…. That will be the most funny thing in 2020. Knowledge of finance and basic economics is never poor. We’ve never trusted South African companies, and that have always been right.

  2. The major reason I as a person do no like the way Multichoice operates is the way things are in Nigeria. They should understand that in Nigeria we don’t have constant power supply. Why would I pay premium or whatever bouquet and get to watch it only at night or whenever there’s light? Making enjoy the service for only 30 to 35 percent of the time. In my honest opinion they should do pay per view, which is what Nigerians are clamouring for.

  3. The cable is becoming useless I pay almost 3k they only open all for one week after then they started cutting some off I’m not going to pay again.

  4. If the content on DStv were fresh, I wouldn’t mind paying an increase in viewing tariffs, most lower and upper middle class income earners in Nigeria have found means of generating appreciable electricity time in their homes…it’s the wonderful thing about us Nigerians…we are the best at adapting to situations..but u pay hard earned money for even for the mid range bouquets DStv compact, and Ur seeing movies made in 1981, 1987 1997…I mean WTF!!! Documentaries of 10 15 years old, to add salt to injury, their medieval content are repeated over and over and over… Live sport is what really keeps me paying, and if they think they can lie to Nigerians that they are running at a loss after years of reaping us of, then they can as well get the hell out! #MultichoicePACKANDGO

    1. It is an option, we have successful entrepreneurs in the entertainment industry who can take up the challenge just like Globacom did in 2003. The past owners of HITv and TSTV can reorganize and team up to produce something good. I am sick of Multichoice….so it’s packing and leaving is a very viable option.

  5. There is no problem without solution because DSTV want to continue the Monopoly of tv rights in Nigeria that is why they keep on resisting pay per view option. The power supply in Nigeria is epileptic, Out of 30 or 31days in a month hardly can you enjoy your subscriptions on DSTV up to one week.This is madness.Nigeria government should mandate them to operate pay per view or tv right is granted to other satellite providers. Enough is enough !

  6. Uzosike Andy Young · Edit

    Nigerian government should do to Dstv what they did to Mtn. Competition is the soul of business. Break the monopoly which Dstv enjoys. Share the right between three to four companies thereby giving Nigerians the right of choice, and the problem will die a natural death.


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