Renowned Kenyan journalist James G. Mbugua met MultiChoice Africa CEO Tim Jacobs on the sidelines of DStv showcase in Mauritius. He asked him about the recent increase in the subscription fees payable to DStv packages that caused an uproar in Kenya and this is what he had to say.
1. Multichoice has held off raising prices even as the Shilling has depreciated over 15% against the Dollar this year. The company buys its content in Dollars. Even paying for the Kenya Premier League, Nigerian PL, Nollywood movies etc is done in Dollars.
2. If the Shilling recovers lost ground, Multichoice will review its prices downwards as it has done before.
3. The cost of some of its content has continued to be hiked. e.g. the English Premier League rights were hiked 70% in the new deal signed earlier this year.
4. The issue of repetition of programmes is usually because it is assumed you cannot watch 100 channels at a go hence if you watch something on NatGeo Wild and miss what is on Discovery World, you can always catch the missed program at a different time.
5. A Sports only bouquet or Entertainment would require a rethink of the business model but would certainly not be much cheaper because there is a cost of acquiring that content. Sports content would for example be much more expensive as well as new TV shows but with the current format the cost is spread across the different channel offerings.
6. Other commodities that are bought in dollars as well like motor vehicles etc have also gone up significantly over the period.
James also wrote more about the interview with Jacob and also shared his thoughts on the issues on his blog nairobitech.blogspot.co.ke/