MutiChoice, Stakeholders Differ On TV Subscriptions Model As Senate Insists Pay- Per- View

In what appeared as a gang- up against Nigerians, stakeholders including a major string TV establishment in the country, MutiChoice Nigeria, have told the Senate that the pay- per- view model being canvassed by the Senate as against the current yearly billing is delicate to apply.

They stated this at a one- day public hail organised by the Senate Adhoc Committee probing pay- television hikes and demand for the pay- per view subscription model in Nigeria.

The panel was chaired by the Senate Deputy Whip, Senator Sabi Abdullahi, and have as members, Legislators Michael Nnachi, Suleiman Abdul Kwali, and Abba Moro, who moved the stir for the upper chamber to probe the ceaseless price hike by string TV drivers.

In his presentation, the Chief Executive Officer, MultiChoice Nigeria, John Ugbe, said several legal and legislative moves made to impel the establishment to operate per view model didn’t work because it was delicate to apply.

Ugbe said, “ Whilst it may appear to be a noble intent for this commission to be concerned over the rising cost of subscription services; still, the Pay- Per- View( PPV) model being canvassed by this commission won’t work moreover to the benefit of the consumer or the industry.

“ It would appear that this problem is because of some confusion in understanding the introductory delineations and distinctions between some of the being functional business models in telecommunications and pay- television broadcasting.

“ A pay- per- view ( PPV) isn’t the same and is veritably different from Pay- As- You- Go ( PAYG).

“ The PPV model allows a subscriber to watch some special one- off events, generally of the high- ticket variety in sports and entertainment, by paying for similar events in addition to having an active subscription.

“ Pay- As- You- Go, accommodates a metered mode of service, where consumers are billed only for the service they consume and not for a fixed period.

“ The desire by this commission to borrow PPV is farther challenged by the virtuality of any technology that can descry and or determine the observers are tuned in per time.

“ Once it’s insolvable to have this knowledge, billings grounded on “ per view ” come delicate if not nearly insolvable.

“ It’s thus my humble submission to this distinguished commission that due to the nature of happy accession and technological limitations that PAYG model isn’t practical for broadcasting and therefore isn’t rehearsed and principally can not be enforced anywhere in the world. ”

Another stakeholder, Emeka Mba, said the issues of Pay- Per- View( PPV) and Pay- television pricing, have been the subject of several examinations by the National Assembly, the nonsupervisory agencies and courts in the history.

Mba said in 2015, a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, dismissed a suit by two Lagos grounded legal interpreters, seeking an order for the reversal of MultiChoice price increase.

He said, “ The applicants had supplicated the court to order the National Broadcasting
Commission( NBC) to restrain MultiChoice from enforcing a listed price increase and also apply the pay- per- view plan where subscribers could choose the programmes or channels they want and pay as they watch.

“ The court held that the complainants weren’t under any obligation to continue to subscribe to the 1st defendant’s products if unsatisfied with MultiChoice subscription pricing. The suit was later struck out for telling no reasonable cause of action. ”

The brace of Dr Bright Echeffe, the Chief Executive Officer of TSTV and Tunde Aina Chief Operating Officer of Startimes, still said Cable television drivers could borrow pay per day model to meliorate the pains of poor subscribers.

Echeffe said, “ Pay per view isn’t doable but we came up with pay per day. We also allow our subscribers to choose the package grounded on the figures of channels they wanted to watch. ”

Abdullahi, the panel president, said the Senate set up the adhoc panel grounded on a stir approved by the Senate at grand.

He said the stir stated that colorful packages of the multichoice bouquet had been increased by 80 per cent in the last five times.

Abdullahi said the development wasn’t in the stylish interest of the subscribers especially when a Court had advised the Multi Choice against carrying out its rearmost proliferation which it introduced on March 30 this time.

He assured the stakeholders that the Senate hadn’t taken a position on the matter and that the report would be grounded on the memorandum they had submitted to the panel.

The Leader of the Senate, Ibrahim Gobir, who represented the Senate President, prompted the stakeholders to be foursquare in their presentation so as to enable the Senate come up with recommendations that would be in the interest of all.

Abba Moro, who moved the stir, said he believed that the pay- television should be considerate in their bouquet.

According to him, the Multi-Choice, which is the drivers of DSTV and GOTV, has over two million subscribers.

He told the ceaseless price proliferation since 2009 till date.

He said, “ Multi Choice increase prices without recource to the profitable reality without espousing the pay- per- view.

still, the Deputy Director, Research and Policy at the National Broadcasting Commission,Mr. Anete Onyebuchi, who represented the Director- General said the agency had no enabling law to either regulate or control the prices being charged by the string TV drivers.

Onyebuchi said, “ There are negative responses whenever MultiChoice increases its price and the NBC is concerned. ”

He, thus prompted the National Assembly to amend the NBC Act to give it powers to regulate prices in the assiduity.

The Director, Tax Policy and Advisory, Federal Inland Revenue Service, Temitayo Orebajo, said the string television drivers are concerned about making gains despite the harsh functional terrain.

He said, “ The MultiChoice for case, express fears that replacing yearly billing with pay- per view, will reduce their earnings.

“ still, the FIRS believe that the migration won’t affect their income, rather they would get further subscribers, ” he added.

Abubakar Ladan, who represented the Minister of Dispatches, Abubakar Ladan, also stressed the need to amend the NBC Act to enable the agency permission eering Cable television drivers.

Ladan, who’s the Director/ Clerk, frequence Management Council, pledged that the ministry was doing everything to protect the interest of Nigerians.

still, colorful stakeholders that made presentations before the panel, noted that the idea of pay per view being canvassed by the Senate wasn’t doable.



Abioye Tosin Lawrence is a prolific writer, An Online Practising Journalist.

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