By Andrew Irumba
Kampala: On September 8, 2020, TheSpy Uganda published an article where several Ugandans were aggrieved over reduction of channels especially those of sports on the Access Family and in addition hiked subscription fees courtesy of Digital Satellite Television (DStv), a Sub-Saharan African direct broadcast satellite service owned by MultiChoice.
It is from the above background that the company reached out to TheSpy Uganda yesterday to clarify a few issues raised by its disappointed customers, in which they argued that they instead brought more entertainment across all the different platforms.
In a phone call interview with Collin Asiimwe, Head of Marketing Multichoice Uganda, he clarified that the reason changing the channels was because SuperSport shows more live sports than any other broadcaster in the world, and as much as all these options are incredibly valuable to fans and now easier to find.
“Fans of Rugby, Cricket, English Premier League and PSL are used to finding their favourite sport on specific channels, but other sporting codes tend to be broadcast on different channels, depending on the time and day. Exhaustive market research has also shown that sports fans would find it easier to enjoy the sport of their choice on a dedicated named channel, this what we’ve done exactly,” Asiimwe explained.
He added thus; “The new strategy will more closely align channel names across the continent and will indicate a clear destination for fans’ favourite sports. A new channel, SuperSport Grandstand, will become the home of the day’s most important live sport,” he added.
Mr Asiimwe also noted that in this new company’s move;
- Customers are able to find the channel with their favourites sports i.e. the dedicated channels make it easier to find what they want to see
- Access customers will still have 3 channels but will receive the dedicated La Liga matches which they didn’t have before.
- Family customers will have 6 channels instead of the previous 3
- Compact customers will have 8 channels instead of the previous 4
- Compact Plus will have 13 channels from the previous 6
- Premium will have 21 from the previous 7 channels.
The previous Sports Channels on DStv were;
|SS Grandstand (221)|
|SS Rugby (231)||SS Football Plus (222)||SS EPL (223)||Blitz|
|SS Cricket (232)||SS Variety 1 (226)||WWE channel||SS La Liga (224)||SS Football (225)|
|SS Golf (233)||SS Action (230)||SS Variety 2 (227)||SS Variety 3 (228)||SS Variety 4 (229)|
|SS Tennis (234)||ESPN 2 (219)||ESPN (218)||ESPN (218)|
|SS Motorsport (235)|
|ESPN 2 (219)|
However, according to some customers we interacted with, they say all the above moves are being implemented at a wrong time of COVID-19 where one is simply struggling to look for what to eat first, before thinking of spending on leisure.
“This was not the appropriate period of time to hike prices without considering the current COVID-19 financial hardships people are struggling. Do they really care about our loyalty to them? I wonder. If their primary aim is to generate profits from poor Ugandans which they actually later export to their foreign countries, then they’re correct in their latest move,” one client in Entebbe Kitooro fumed to our reporter yesterday.
“How many people are interested in La Liga Spanish League since it seems to be the most favored league in the new changes? That’s taking customers for granted,” fumed another client in Wandegeya.
To add salt to an injury, Hotels,Clubs and Bars business owners who are the biggest targets for DSTV’s premium and Compact+ packages our reporter talked to yesterday faulted the Multi-choice for increasing their subscription fees when they know that the above businesses are infact still in lockdown, and making no income atall. “Bars, Clubs and Hotels are their biggest targets for high packages, because it’s business. Customers want to watch all premier league games while drinking in a bar or club or Hotel, but now all those places are under lock down, no business atall. Even those who are working are just trying to survive,not to make profits. So now why would a bar with only restaurant section open,pay for over shs280000 for a month to subscribe to a TV which is going to be watched by three customers? Can I get that money from three customers? They’re simply inconsiderate to their customers who have been with them through thick and thin, it would be their turn now to stand with theirs customers but they’re simply money makers,” one of the Hotel owners along Nakasero road submitted.
However, Multi Choice’s Collin Asiimwe in an interview said they’re aware of all the financial hardships brought by COVID-19 pandemic to their customers, but the company was also simply looking at its immediate means of survival in order to remain in business and serve Uganda’s interests.