​Nigeria has no power to regulate DSTV prices — ​MultiChoice

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​South African digital satellite television company, Multichoice, has defended its decision to increase DSTV subscription rates in Nigeria, saying neither the country nor its courts, has the powers to regulate its prices.

The ruling on the objecti​on by Multichoice Nigeria Limited against an application seeking to stop ​the price increase ​has been scheduled for Thursday, May 21, 2015 at the Federal High Court, Lagos.

Two Lagos-based lawyers, Oluyinka Oyeniji and Osasuyi Adebayo, had initiated a class action on behalf of millions of Nigerians who criticised the new subscription rates as exploitative and insensitive.

The duo had sought the order of the court to stop MultiChoice or its agents from implementing the 20 per cent hike in the fees charged subscribers for using the service effective April 1, 2015.

The plaintiffs equally asked the court to compel the National Broadcasting Commission to take steps to monitor and regulate MultiChoice operations in Nigerian to ensure that it does not hike their fees arbitrarily.

The two applicants said they were expecting the NBC to ensure that they compel DSTV to deal with Nigerians the same way DSTV deals with other subscribers in other parts of the continent where MultiChoice operates, by ensuring that the pay-per-view scheme was introduced in the country.

This arrangement, they argued, would ensure that Nigerian subscribers to DSTV would only pay for programmes actually watched, as is the case in South Africa.

However, in objecting to the application, counsel to MultiChoice, Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN), urged the court to deny the plaintiffs their demands and discountenance their pleas.

According to Mr. Onigbanjo, apart from the plaintiffs not having any good cause of action through their application, he also reminded the court that it did not have the legal authority to regulate what the company decides to charge its customers for its services.

The lawyer drew the court’s attention to clauses 40 and 41 in his client’s terms or conditions of service, stating: “Multichoice Nigeria may, from time to time, change the fees payable to Multichoice Nigeria for the Multichoice Service by way of general amendment.”

As a country operating a free market economy, Mr. Onigbanjo said, neither the Nigerian government nor the court has the power to regulate the prices for its services.

He noted that at the moment, Nigeria does not have an existing law that empowers the NBC to monitor and regulate the prices for services offered by satellite television operators.

To enable the court rule on the objection, Justice C.J. Aneke therefore adjourned further sitting till May 21.


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  • Abdul

    See me see trouble o, if we dont have power to regulate your prices then charge us N1million now , we should have the power to send you packing. Nigeria can do without DSTV.

    • Son Of Naija

      Show that you can do without them by unsubscribing, if in one day 25k-50k users call multichoice and say to them we don’t want again they will sit up

  • aisha ani

    You cannot tell people our to run their business as long as they are not violating any laws. You cannot tell them what to charge for their services, if it is a privately owned business. Multi choice is a not a non profit organization, in order to continue to bring all the shows you love watching the rates must go up at some point. That is why South Africa has electricity and Nigeria does not, money is needed to replace and upgrade obsolete equipment, to pay staff salaries, to pay rent etc. #APC4change

    • akyn

      Any government that grants license has the authority to regulate that industry including pricing.

      • Son Of Naija

        I beg to differ Akyn, the product Multi-choice offers is neither an essential product or one which they have a monopoly over, and when you invoke price gouging it typically refers to a spike in price following a demand or supply shock; in the case which they increased prices there was no such shock. Its called free market economics my brother, if customers of Multi choice have beef with their price increase they should unsubscribe and seek other offerings from the competition. As a matter of fact this is a clear indication for a second, third and fourth company that has good reliable satellite service to step into this market. Since price is the key indicator of customer retention here, the competitors are failing at their post. It will only get worse, as lond as M-choice has an astronmical market share of paying premium users in the Nigerian Market.

        • akyn

          You have valid points. May be I should have included collusion. Based on your point (valid point I may say) what stops the industry from price gouging and collusion? Only remedy is the government to apply brakes before it gets out of hand.

    • Omo Oodua

      You are just a moronic prostitute, walahi. Am sure you are one of the parasitic fulanis who enjoys free to air hacking of dstv services. Oloshi!

      • aisha ani

        Ko baje fun iwo ati gbogbo family e! Omo ale! That is why Nigeria cannot progress, must you watch cable? If you have a personal problem with my statement you can start your own cable company or dump Dstv for the non existent alternative that you have in your country. Oloriburuku!

  • Son Of Naija

    The product Multi-choice offers is neither an essential product or one which they have a monopoly over, and when you invoke price gouging it typically refers to a spike in price following a demand or supply shock; in the case which they increased prices there was no such shock. Its called free market economics my brother, if customers of Multi choice have beef with their price increase they should unsubscribe and seek other offerings from the competition. As a matter of fact this is a clear indication for a second, third and fourth company that has good reliable satellite service to step into this market. Since price is the key indicator of customer retention here, the competitors are failing at their post. It will only get worse, as lond as M-choice has an astronomical market share of paying premium users in the Nigerian Market.

  • wally

    It is only in Nigeria market that DSTV could get away with such a staggering increase of 20% without being punished by consumers. DSTV know very well that the market is not regulated and the competition is not keen as a result they could increase their price at will. The only power that can force DSTV to reverse or reduce that price is consumer boycott. If at all DSTV must increase their price there is no way they can justify 20% increase it is never done in any civilized society, l can understand between 2-5% increase but not 20% this is scandalous. Do you know that many states are yet to pay salaries for their workers? With 20% increase are you also increasing the program you feed in by 20%? I think it’s high time the Consumers wake-up and organize themselves against this kind of corporate greed. If nothing is done to stem this increase now the next increase will be 50%.

  • Citizen

    Customer care have called several times that I should subscribe but I have made up my mind never to subscribe except the subscription fee is reversed. Even if I am the only person protesting this callous increment at least income from my hard earned labour will not go to a cheat organisation again. I expect Nigerians to proof that they are not slaves to DStv and that they can do without its decoders for as long as necessary.

    • #No more dstv

      You are not the only person. Me too. Since the increase I have not subscribed. I read books now with my spare time or sleep. It’s not by force. Their customer service personnel has called severally and always tell them it’s too expensive and won’t pay.

  • christobel2010

    The best way I to handle DSTV is to encourage other digital satellite television services to compete with dstv. And I think we have that already but they are not given much attention by Nigerians largely because they do not offer premiership football. Which is what really makes dstv thick. So I suggest that the federal government should as a Matter of policy ban all government offices from subscribing dstv, including official residences and guest houses, schools, anything owned by the government. Secondly a local digital satellite television company should be assisted to relay premiership matches, even if it means through bank loan. I think this will make dstv to have a rethink about their constant arbitrary increase in price.