MultiChoice-owned pay TV company DStv has attracted the ire of its subscribers in Kenya after increasing prices across its packages. The new prices will take effect on September 1, 2021.
DStv Premium subscribers will pay Ksh500 more per month with the package rising to Ksh8,900 from Ksh8,400. Compact Plus subscribers will pay Ksh5,500 per month up from Ksh5,100. Compact subscribers will pay Ksh3,000 per month up from Ksh2,800.
The Family package will cost Ksh1,600 per month up from Ksh1,500. The most affordable package, Access, will cost Ksh100 more per month – increasing to Ksh1,150 up from Ksh1,050.
The price hike coincides with the return of top-flight football in Europe including the English Premier League (PL) – beloved by millions in Kenya who watch it in their homes, entertainment joints and dedicated viewing halls. SuperSport, a subsidiary of the MultiChoice Group, holds exclusive rights to air all of the league’s 380 matches per season in Africa.
MultiChoice recently succeeded in its legal battle to have 44 illegal sports streaming websites blocked in Kenya by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) including Safaricom. The websites are used by many Kenyans as alternative platforms to watch live sports including the Premier League and UEFA Champions League.
“This is a red-letter day in the fight against piracy in Africa,” stated MultiChoice Kenya Managing Director, Nancy Matimu in June after the High Court ruling. “We have been fighting for years to ensure that there are legal copyright protections, and that those protections are enforced. The court has reaffirmed the stance of the law that copyright must be protected.”
DStv subscribers took to social media to voice their anger after being notified of the price increase. The hike comes at a time when many Kenyans are grappling with the high cost of living including the sky-rocketing cost of fuel and basic food commodities.
DStv informed concerned subscribers that the move was informed by several factors, reiterating that it continued to offer value to customers across Africa. Among other issues, the company cited high content acquisition costs and the weakening shilling among contributors to the price hike.
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“DStv has over the past year absorbed increased content costs and foreign exchange impacts, due to the weakening Kenya shilling where possible. DStv has worked tirelessly to ensure it provides an unrivalled bouquet of channels to watch,” the company told one Twitter user.
The company disclosed more of the costs factored into the pricing of packages – including “satellites and distribution equipment; buying shows, movies, and channels; decoders; our infrastructure like playout facilities, monitoring services and customer touch points.”
Earlier this year, the pay TV service also caught backlash from customers in countries including Kenya and South Africa over restrictions introduced on its DStv Now streaming app. The changes which took effect on March 22 limited streaming on DStv to one device at a time.
Sample more comments that followed the price hike by DSTV Kenya;
@DStv_Kenya mnataka kulipisha premium 8900 juu nini ya maana mko nayo? Mko m audacity sanaaa, shame on you
— Aleckie Ronald (@SirAlexas) August 1, 2022
Naah unacceptable..you cannot increase prices in today’s economic climate..you are squeezing your customers..zuku had the same approach now they r begging ppl to use their services…fix up dstv
— Agapito geraldini (@leayaan2614) August 4, 2022
They know the league is resuming, perfect timing
— Civil254 (@wuadhiambo) August 4, 2022