Pay TV is television broadcasting in which viewers pay by subscription to particular channels. The Pay TV battlefield in Nigeria has been dynamic. Players have come and gone over the years. MobilityArena took out time to ask people what they think of the new entrant, TStv Nigeria / TStv Africa.
TStv Nigeria will be going head-to-head against current satellite television operators in the country. The company has taken the approach of marketing itself as an alternative to market leader, DStv.
We thought it would be great to hear what people have to say about the new entrant.
What People Are Saying About TStv Nigeria
The questions we put to people: “What do you think of the entrance of the new digital TV service, TSTV? What part of their service do you think gives it the best chance of success?” The responses cut across a wide spectrum. Here are the responses we got. Enjoy!
It is a very welcome development. The pay per view service is what gives it the best chance of success.
– Yewande Owadara
It is a welcome idea. The pay per view (is that what it’s called?) is long overdue. Anyone offering that service, at great quality, will be the Globacom of digital TV.
– Oluseyi Falufosi
Apart from the name, I don’t know much about TSTV. I’m excited there is a new digital TV though, to succeed in this market they need to bring their A game. They at least need to bring as much as DSTV has done or be better and they also probably have to do that at a lesser cost. Tough luck.
– Abiola Oyeniran
A welcome development. Competition pays us – the consumers on the long run. As for the part of TSTV’s service I think gives it the best chance of success: Several. The attractive low price entry, the cheap subscription packages and most importantly the claimed sports offering – especially EPL.
– Fred Akinrelere
I think they coming into the market will give way to healthy competition in that market. Seeing as Gotv gave away free decoders yesterday, the game has only just begun. I think the pause and start feature on the subscription is a good one. They one need to fine tune the conditions for it to make sense for users. That in my opinion gives it the unique preposition that their competitors don’t have yet.
– A Lagos-based Digital Analyst
It’s a break from the usual. The “pause” feature, the short term subscriptions and the additional data package are strong attractions. They need to be reasonable in their billing and educate their subscribers about the options the additional data provides.
– S. Gbadegesin
Good competition for other satellite service. Pay as you watch is the most attractive part of their service.
– Bukola Ogunbanwo
Some Cautious Optimism
TsTv offer may democratize satellite television, but it may be premature to engage in any ululation. I clearly remember we have had several DSTV Wannabe like Trumpet Satellite TV (TsTv), Frontage Satellite (FSTv), Daarsat (Dokpesi), HiTv (Subair), etc, in the past. Practically all of them have fizzled out or are comatose. There must be something tough about running a successful long-term satellite company in Nigeria.
Consat (Tinubu) seems to be operating quietly without upsetting any Apple cart.. But they would need to wake up too. I would exercise cautious optimism on this one. If they get it right, long term, DSTV would be forced to change their business model just like GLO (Nigeria) forced MTN (Nigeria) to adopt per second billing thirteen, or so, years ago.
The data aspect would be the most attractive aspect of their offer. Also the fact one can subscribe for different periods.. A day, three days, etc. I may decide I want weekend only, when I am around and free.
Even if you throw the TsTv decoder away, the data alone is worthwhile. The TsTv offer is like watching satellite TV free, and only paying for data, or vice versa. The best of both worlds.
– Ibukun Olaoya
I would give it a year at least before I try it out. I’m smarting from HiTV. Plus anyone who wants to give DSTV a run for their money must be tried and trusted and must have staying power. It’s not by mouth only. Only SKY can make me jump at a heart’s beat from DSTV.
– Doubra Oluwatominiyin
Time will tell….TSTV, good luck. Already content owner are saying TSTV is offering peanuts for content when compared to DSTV.
– Kayode Osokoya
I think TSTv’s entrance into the pay-TV/digital TV environment is a welcome development. Increased competition, more choice, and a recognition of a viable Nigerian market, and it could potentially move the country ahead by 15 years. What we are likely to see here is basically a media convergence (going by TSTv’s claims). And if that really does unfold as they intend, then we’ll be talking about our own Hulu/Comcast media company. That’s a good thing I think.
They are basically going up against an established monopoly in DSTV, regardless of how they frame it. So to survive, they have to really be ingenious with marketing, sales, content, programming, acquisition of rights and lobbying. They were granted tax reliefs by the FG, as part of pioneer incentives, so that should give ample manoeuvring in relation to their operating capital and revenue.
I think the most important features for them have to be content and programming. That’s really what gets eyeballs glued to the TV set. If they are able to get premium TV and box-office content (e.g sports, football, tennis, NBA basketball, acclaimed TV shows, etc), it will do them a world of good. The low subscription price should also help them get traction. One area to consider is content creation, just like Netflix has done. If they can create exciting indigenous content or do reboot of past materials (e.g Papa Ajasco, Iriri Aye, Baba Sala, Tales by Moonlight, etc), I think they might just gain some market share in no time.
I have doubts about their capacity to actually deliver high quality on-demand streaming service. That promise is still some way off in Nigeria I think, given the relatively low internet penetration in the country, and also because they still do have to rely on existing internet infrastructure.
Obviously, we’ve been here before, with companies like FSTV, HiTV and a few others. The initial successes and failures of these businesses are well documented publicly, so for now, I think we have to temper the excitement around TSTv with optimistic caution.
– Banji Adenusi, Partner at Philip-Idiok Adenusi.
TStv Nigeria Vox Pop Wrap Up
You have heard from our respondents.
Over the years, pay TV players have come and gone. The most recent death was that of HiTv. One thing is certain: there is a huge untapped market for pay TV in Nigeria. There is room for all the current players to blossom.
The Federal Government of Nigeria seems interested in seeing this wholly-Nigerian owned TV operator thrive. The company has been granted a 3-year tax relief. The company’s investors have also been granted tax-free dividends for the same period.
TStv Nigeria looks good from where many stand. Whether or not this new Pay TV operator will thrive will be seen in the years ahead. In the meantime, let the games go on, and may the best provider win.
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