Welcome to the Corporate News Summary for the week ended August 24, 2018. The Corporate News Summary is a weekly summary of company news and actions from the previous one.
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DStv made the news last week. Abuja Federal High Court Judge Nnamdi Dimgba granted interim injunction last week hike stop in DStv subscription rate by MultiChoice Nigeria Limited. Following the court order, Nigerians reacted en masse to the news.
While some have expressed gratitude to the Consumer Protection Council (CPC), a regulator that has challenged the rise in DStv subscriptions, others have issued a note of caution. So what’s the bone of contention here? In July, MultiChoice increased the subscription price for the DSTV Premium package from N 14,700 to N 15,800, Compact Plus by 9,900 N to 10,650 N, Compact from 6,300 N to 6,800 N, Family from 3,800 N to 4,000 N and Access from 1,900 N to 2,000 N. The judge then granted a motion prohibiting DStv from applying the new tariffs.
Well, DStv obviously doesn’t obey that order even though it hasn’t posted an official comment yet. According to her, the court documents have just been received and are currently under review. I understand this is a populist decision, but we have to be careful with the government trying to set the prices. I’m not a judge or a lawyer, but DStv is not a monopoly, so I don’t see a reason to try and price for it.
As news of the injunction raged on social media, Multichoice unveiled DStv Now an internet based service with live sports, live TV shows and movies on Catch Up. According to the company, the app is now available for Samsung smart TVs (selected models from 2015), Apple TV (fourth generation and newer) and media players running Android TV (Google certified devices only). Applications should also be added shortly. for other brands of smart TVs (sorry, no LG for now).
It sounds like an attempt to compete with Netflix which launched in Nigeria about two years ago. Unlike DStv, Netflix offers several original exclusive content that DStv does not. However, DStv has a lot more content exclusive to it that is not available to Netflix subscribers. Content such as sports, music, movie channels and even some series.
In all of this, it appears that the ISPs will be the winners. Why would someone with a decoder want to stream DStv on TV?
Always on DStv, rival (let me use this term), TStv indicated that he was teaming up with NigComSat attacks DStv. Apparently TStv and NigComSat have an active deal with China Great Wall Industry Corporation (CGWIC) for Direct to Home Delivery (DTH) services and put a “common front to face the competitions”.
According to reports, “the NigComSat DTH system is capable of providing commercial broadcast services to Nigeria and all countries covered, from Senegal in the west to Namibia in the south.” They claim that it helps TStv to broadcast over 100 TV channels.
Last week, MTN confirmed the appointment of Mazen Mroué as the new Chief Operating Officer (COO). Mroue’s appointment took effect on August 6, 2018. Mroue joins MTN Nigeria from MTN Irancell, where he also served as COO since July 2014. His appointment could be seen as a further step towards the IPO scheduled for next year. Besides, MTN has also denied its intention to sell its stake in Jumia.
Always on MTN, the company said during the week that it had slightly readjusted its business model by focusing less on investments in voice installations and more on data installations.
According to MTN’s Managing Director for Corporate Treasury Finances, Mr. Ishmael Nwokocha, who recently made this disclosure in Lagos, much of the 180 billion naira allocated to the company’s Capex in 2018 was geared towards network expansion / upgrade and data optimization.
This, he said, is part of the company’s efforts to meet the growing demand for data from its subscribers. MTN spent 192 billion naira and 225 billion naira in 2016 and 2017 on capital expenditures, most of which was spent on data-driven network expansion. This is obviously a no-brainer, considering how much MTN has made from the data. MTN Nigeria’s data revenue increased by 64% to reach 79 billion naira (R3.1b) in the 6 months ending June 2018.
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