Multichoice is bracing itself for a possible customer backlash after revelations that it will hike subscription prices from next month, especially at a time when companies are retrenching and fading disposable incomes.
Observers believe the move is meant to compensate for the recent acquired premiership rights Parkage A after the liquidation of GTV.
At the height of the collapse of the British company, MultiChoice Botswana Chief Executive Officer, Billy Sekgororoane, allayed fears that they will hike subscription fees following the collapse of GTV.
This week the company wrote to customers that costs are to be blamed for the rise in subscription prices.
“The price increase has been necessitated by ongoing increases in the cost of the channels on the Dstv service as well as increases in the company’s operational costs,” the company wrote to customers.
Top end customers will from April 1 start paying P24 extra on top of P375 they are paying for a premium bouquet. The monthly Dstv Premium will be P399.
Multichoice obtains channels for its subsidiary Dstv in dollar terms. Analysts say the decision to hike prices was expected, looking at the fact that the collapse of GTV left it to exert its power as a monopoly in the continent.
GTV came to the African market in 2005 in pomp after other players like Bstv owned by Black Earth Communications (BEC) and recently another pan African pay television– Munhumutape African Broadcasting Corporation (MABCTV) were licensed by the regulators.
The prices for Compact and Family bouquets will remain unchanged at P180 and P130, respectively. The company spokesperson, Tshepho Maphanyane, said on Friday that she thinks although there is an increase in prices, the pay television provider still provides variety to consumers.
The costs for Compact and Family bouquets have been absorbed by Dstv Premium, which acts as the backbone and overall Dstv.
“With the price increase of P24 we are trying to absorb the costs. But with this price increase people still have a choice,” Maphanyane told Sunday Standard.