For the first time in several years, local subscribers of the satellite pay-TV-Dstv will not have to adjust their disposable income to accommodate hikes in subscription fees. The parent company, Multi Choice Africa usually makes an upward adjustment in subscriptions fees every April.
The media giant, which operates in several African countries, said in a statement that the rate hike moratorium was effected in recognition of the fact that most African markets have suffered as a result of commodity and oil price weakness and because of the significant devaluation of local currencies. Purchasing power parity theory advocates for a relationship between exchange rates and inflation such that a country with high inflation should expect its currency to depreciate against the currency of a country with lower inflation. At the same time, the purchasing power parity, interest rate parity and behavioural influences on the market are seen to drive some movements in foreign exchange.
Although Dstv subscribers have become accustomed to an annual pricing increase, with the monthly premium currently at P610, the last increase, effected last year was clearly met with unhappiness which could have forced the multinational company to halt its annual price increase. Apart from general operational costs, MultiChoice’s rising subscriptions fees have been attributed largely to fluctuations in the exchange rate of the USD Dollar against the Botswana Pula.
General Manager of the local unit, Billy Sekgororoane said in a previous interview that despite charging their customers in the local currency, most of MultiChoice Botswana’s basic operational costs are paid for in US dollar. These include satellite and channels costs. MultiChoice started as the subscriber management arm of M-Net, the analogue Pay-TV channel. Today it is the leading multichannel digital satellite television operator across the African continent.
The company provides its Dstv services to different market segments. The Dstv bouquets cater for different lifestyles and pockets, from entry level to Premium. Its premium service provides more than 90 video + 4 HD video, 40 CD quality audio channels, 32 radio stations and 3 interactive services. Dstv is also available as a niche service for the Indian and Portuguese communities.