DStv prices: decreases and increases

MultiChoice Ghana recently announced in a press statement that it had decreased the subscription fees of DStv in the country.

The price cut was made possible by the strengthening of the local currency, the Ghanaian Cedi, against the Dollar and the Euro, MultiChoice said.

“MultiChoice Africa’s costs are largely US Dollar and Euro based due to the satellite capacity and channel content costs,” the pay-TV operator said.

It added that when there is a major fluctuation in an exchange rate it has a detrimental effect on the viability of the business in Ghana.

“However, with the strengthening of the currency in Ghana it has enabled us to review our subscription rates and make adjustments to improve the price to our loyal subscribers,” MultiChoice Ghana said.

The price adjustments were as follows:

DStv Ghana bouquet Old Price New price (1 Nov 2014)
DStv Premium GHS 335 (R1,173) GHS 299 (R1,047)
DStv Compact Plus GHS 216 (R648) GHS 192 (R672)
DStv Compact GHS 138 (483) GHS 122 (R427)
DStv Family GHS 84 (R294) GHS 71 (R249)
DStv Access GHS 42 (R147) GHS 34 (R119)
GHS 1 = ZAR 3.50

This raises the question: how are DStv prices in South Africa affected by the exchange rate?

According to John Kotsaftis, CEO of DStv Digital Media, the Rand is a big problem for DStv, to the point where it affects how the group conducts its business.

“It’s not looking good,” he said. “We are far more cautious than we used to be.”

Asked for more detail on how the Rand’s performance against the Dollar affects DStv, a spokesperson for MultiChoice said that their costs are made up of a number of different factors, including foreign currency.

“Each country, similarly, has unique issues in relation to costs and pricing,” the spokesperson said. “In South Africa our price increases have remained stable, despite big fluctuations in currency over the last few years.”

Kotsaftis suggested that rather than price increases, MultiChoice may look to drop marginal channels.

Queried about this, MultiChoice said that there are many factors that go into making a decision to add or drop a channel.

Among them is the channel’s performance which is based largely on popularity and rating, and customer feedback.

“This is about constantly improving the DStv service,” the spokesperson said.

MultiChoice said it has added 37 television channels, 3 audio channels, and 11 ad hoc channels since April 2013 – whereas it has only removed 12 channels.

“This should tell you that we’re interested in creating better entertainment value for our customers,” MultiChoice said.

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DStv prices: decreases and increases