MultiChoice Africa CEO speaks on pricing

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BEL OMBRE, Mauritius — MultiChoice Africa chief executive officer Tim Jacobs on Wednesday said they were constantly evaluating their cost structure on the entertainment service provider’s pricing as part of their business model relative to different audience groups.

BY WINSTONE ANTONIO IN BEL OMBRE

His remarks followed worries by millions of subscribers of Africa’s leading satellite television provider DStv over pricing.
Jacobs was addressing guests attending the second edition of the MultiChoice Africa Content Showcase Extravaganza that roared into life on Tuesday at Outrigger Spa and Resort in Mauritius.

“There have been massive increases in the cost of content such as the English Premier League football rights, which we have factored into our pricing. We are conscious that a large part of the population is looking for a good set of quality content at the bottom end of the market… and we make decisions on the price points of our bouquet structure — it’s a continuous evaluation,” he said.

“We’re looking at alternatives too — there is strong consumer behaviour (especially in Nigeria) where many consumers are self-employed, and therefore, not monthly earners, so we are looking at whether it is viable to address a different type of model.”

MultiChoice Africa chief executive officer Tim Jacobs

Jacobs said piracy was a massive threat to broadcasters and rights holders worldwide.

“Pirates are only about enriching themselves. We work with rights holders and broadcasters to stop it, but it is a moving target because their infrastructure means they can open new portals as we shut others down,” he said.

He said it was difficult to evaluate the extent of piracy’s impact as there was a lot of underground activities aided by the use of social media.

“Certain competitors broadcast a beam that comes down into Africa and if one has that decoder and smart card, that can pick up a service that is not designed to be broadcast in African territories; that is also piracy because the rights for that territory either have not been assigned, or they are owned by a mainstream service,” he said.

Over 200 guests, including media practitioners from across Africa, representatives of channels such as BBC, CNN, SuperSport, Channel O, M-Net, Africa Magic and MTV Base as well as celebrated African movie and music stars are attending the week-long extravaganza.

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