By now, many would have heard about GoTV, the latest cable TV company in Nigeria and yet another subsidiary of Multichoice, the parent company of DSTV.
Multichoice is a South African company with a near monopoly of the Cable TV industry on the African continent. It has almost 5 million subscribers across the continent with Nigeria being the single country with the highest subscription.
DSTV’s business model can be summed up in this phrase, “No Mercy To Competition”. They have been noted for muscling out all their competitors, no thanks to the huge resources at their disposal. And unfortunately, the Nigerian Government have not come out in anyway to legislate against their unwholesome practices.
Even though DSTV services is quite popular in Nigeria, it is on record that they have not been able to capture a significant percentage of the Nigerian populace. Excluding hardware fees and installation costs ,monthly subscription fees range from between N4,900 (US$30) to about N10,000 (US$60). Fees that are definitely out of the reach of most the 170 million residents of Nigeria.
A company came up and sought to fill this huge gap in this untapped market. This translated to a partnership between some Chinese entrepreneurs and Nigeria’s network station NTA. A company called Startimes was formed and offered cheap set top boxes and monthly subscription fees of about N1,000 (US$6).
Now, DSTV has decided to muscle out Startimes with its equally cheap cable packages, albeit with superior programming content.
However, in a bid to do this, they rolled out without their structure fully in place to cater for the yearnings of Lagos residents. Perhaps because of the high population density on Lagos mainland, their solution was to site their GoTV transmitters there, leaving the Island with poor reception. This has probably resulted in slow sales.
On inquiry from a sales lady on when a transmitter would be sited on Lagos Island, she replied “month end”. Let’s see how that plays out.
Well, we all know the Chinese for being masters at price wars. Let’s also see if they would fall to the South Africans’ monopolistic business antics.