Multichoice CEO on Nigerian rates
In a statement that many Nigerians won’t agree with, the CEO of Multichoice, Tim Jacobs, has stated that country has one of the cheapest subscription rates in the world.
Jacobs was speaking at an interactive session with journalists in Kenya, alongside Multichoice Nigeria’s managing director, John Ugbe.
Jacobs said: “Just to put this into context, Nigeria is actually one of the cheapest subscription models that we run on the continent. You guys can easily go to the Internet and see what consumers in other countries pay. Nigerians pay $20 dollars cheaper than probably all of your neighbours. Now, some of that is because of other considerations … there’s the VAT rate and other things that the consumer has to pay for in other country.”
“But Nigeria is a very affordable pay television market; it is one of the cheapest in the world. What we have done in the Nigerian market is we have kept the price low over many years in order to try and stimulate the market, because Nigeria is a potentially large economy. We have so many potential subscribers. Our growth in Nigeria, I would say, has been good. I think our GOtv platform, which kind of attracts the lower end of the market, has been doing incredibly well over the last year, particularly about December last year when we introduced a very cheap price. So we subsidize very deep to get to $20.”
“That has obviously stimulated demand, but we need scale. In Nigeria, what we are always hoping for is that we can keep the prices reasonably low if we get the scale… We just launched Mnet Igbo as we continue trying to satisfy many segments of the market. We are happy to continue to invest, but we need to obviously see the scale coming into the business. When we get that, then we keep the balance, then we keep the price reasonably low and provide good additional content.”