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Monday, May 27, 2024

Again DSTV, GOTV go to court over subscription increment

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The case against Multichoice Nigeria, a major pay-TV operator, regarding the increment in the rates of its DStv and GOtv packages will be heard today.

A motion on notice which was filed by Festus Onifade through his lawyer, Ejiro Awaritoma will be heard before the Competition and Consumer Protection Tribunal, CCPT, sitting in Abuja.

A Nairametrics report has revealed that the tribunal had restrained MultiChoice from increasing its subscription rates pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.

Onifade, who sued Multi-Choice Nigeria Limited, accuses the company of unjustly increasing subscription fees without compunction, seeking interim orders against the pay-TV provider.

Last Monday, a three-member tribunal chaired by Saratu Shafii, ruled in favour of Onifade by restraining Multichoice in the interim, in the suit marked CCPT/OP/2/2024.

The court held that, “The 1st defendant (Multichoice) is restrained, whether by themselves or privies, from going ahead with impending price increase scheduled to take effect from 1st May 2024 pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice already filed before this tribunal.”

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The tribunal also ordered that all parties in the suit are to appear before the panel on the 7th day of May 2024 at 10:00 a.m. for the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.

Multichoice announced new rate adjustments on DStv and GOtv packages on Wednesday, April 24, 2024.

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The email message to subscribers read, “On Wednesday, 1 May 2024 we will adjust our prices across all our packages on DStv and GOtv. We understand the impact this change may have on you – our valued customer, but the rise in the cost of business operations, has led us to make this difficult decision. It remains our mission to provide the best entertainment and viewing experience to you and are committed to continue to deliver high-quality content and unparalleled service.”

Nairametrics previously reported that the development had resulted in a 25% to 26% increase across Multichoice packages.

But amid the subsisting ruling, the popular pay-TV provider proceeded with the upward adjustment of its rates for DStv and GOtv subscribers,

The commission said it would review the reasons identified by Multichoice, noting that the agency could involve regulatory bodies such as the National Broadcasting Commission, NBC, and the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, in the process.

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