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Nigerian senate solicits pay-per-view, constitutes panel to probe tariff hike

The Nigerian Senate has asked pay-TV service providers to consider the “pay-per-view” subscription model for subscribers.

The Senate also constituted a seven-member ad-hoc committee to investigate the tariff hike introduced by the pay-TV providers operating in the country.

It directed all pay-TV service providers to immediately review their bouquet prices downwards in tandem with the prevailing reality of economic situation in Nigeria.

These resolutions were a sequel to a deliberation on a motion titled, “Nigerians dumbfounded, outraged over Pay-TV tariff hikes, demand for pay-per-view subscription model.”

Benue South senator, Abba Moro, sponsored the motion.

The motion comes about a week after MultiChoice – providers of DSTV and GoTV – announced an increase in the prices of its subscription packages, meant to take effect from April 1.

The company said the current economic realities in the country prompted the price review.

The upward review of the prices are – DStv Premium (N21,000), Compact (N14,250), Compact (N9, 000), Confam (N5, 300), Yanga (N2, 950), Padi (N2, 150), Business(N2, 669), Xtraview PVR access fee (2,900).

For GoTV: Max (N4,150), Jolli (N2, 6669), GOtv Jinja (N1, 900), GOtv Lite (N900).

The company also said it had introduced incentives for customers to cushion the effect of the increase.

Motion
In his motion, Mr Moro kicked against the tariff hike by MultiChoice.

MultiChoice, he said, willfully and perpetually increases the cost of its bundles because there is no regulation whatsoever in the area of fixing rates.

He said thousands of pay-TV subscribers in Nigeria have bitterly reacted to the development on different social media platforms, ranging from deep shock to pure outrage with many asking the Nigerian government to checkmate the activities of pay-tv service providers in Nigeria especially in the area of fixing prices.

Among the bitter complaints of Nigerian subscribers of pay-TV services, is the poor network service experienced as a result of bad weather or epileptic electricity supply – which sometimes makes a whole month subscription wasteful without the subscriber watching anything before the expiration.

“Nigerians are demanding that, rather than paying fixed rates for packages monthly, pay-TV service providers should introduce a subscription model which allows subscribers pay per-view to enable them match their TV consumption to subscription as it is the case with electricity metering and mobile telephony.

“The pay-per-view that Nigerian subscribers are demanding, is a flexible model plan of subscription which allows subscribers of pay-TV to pay-per watch, to avoid paying for services which they do not consume.”

The Senate therefore, urged the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, and the Nigerian Communications Commission to direct all pay-TV providers to introduce a pay-per-view model of subscription against the monthly prepaid model presently in place.

At the close of plenary, the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, announced the constitution of the panel that will investigate the pricing activities of MultiChoice Nigeria to bring it in line with international practice.

The Deputy Whip, Sabi Abdullahi (APC, Niger North), was appointed to chair the ad-hoc committee.

Members of the committee include Sulaiman Kwari, Oluremi Tinubu, Yusuf Yusuf, Lekan Mustapha, Chukwuka Utazi and Akon Eyakenyi.

Mr Lawan tasked the panel to carry out a comprehensive investigation into how other countries are billed by pay-tv service providers.

The panel is to report back in one month. Premium Times

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