Pride Mahlangu, Business Reporter
A COMBINATION of high inflation and incessant power cuts has hampered MultiChoice Zimbabwe’s business resulting in a 31 percent drop in its subscriber base.
The Digital Satellite Television (DStv) operator revealed in its latest report for the period ended 30 September 2019 that the number of subscribers based on the 90-day active subscription terms, dropped from 320 000 in March this year to 150 000 by September.
MultiChoice Zimbabwe public relations manager, Elizabeth Dziva, said like other businesses theirs was negatively affected by power outages and the challenging macro-economic conditions.
“MultiChoice Zimbabwe and all its customers have been affected by the power crisis in Zimbabwe. What has been noteworthy is that a large number of customers have taken steps to ensure that they have alternative power sources to enable them to access a range of services, including DStv,” she said.
“Several customers have also reported that they can view their favourite programmes through making use of reruns applied to many programmes and channels at times when power is available to them.”
To counter the loss from power cuts, MultiChoice has since advised its customers to use the “DStv Now” application that is accessible on mobile phones. “We know that a major effort is being made by all Zimbabweans to source power from outside the national power grid. It is also hoped the time will come when normal power supplies will be restored and activities such as viewing television will be uninterrupted,” said Dziva.
She said their business was also being affected by the prevailing economic challenges, which is a common factor across organisations. The currency volatility and loss of value for earnings experienced throughout the year have forced many people to trim expenditure as price escalation persists. Dziva, however, said MultiChoice was providing a service that is considered by many Zimbabweans as both desirable and essential as a source of information, education and entertainment.
As part of efforts to honour its customers for their goodwill, Dziva said DStv viewers would get a bonus gift for the whole family when they renew their subscriptions before Christmas in the form of a free upgrade to the next bouquet package at no extra cost. “We have also been able to play a role in the community through social responsibility initiatives and through actively supporting the local arts and entertainment industry,” said Dziva.
The MultiChoice group has expressed optimism that Zimbabwe’s economy would improve going into year 2020. Early this year Multichoice Africa urged DSTV customers to subscribe in their respective countries as rights for programming and channels are being cleared for specific countries. This came amid reports that Multichoice South Africa was going to shut down pirate decoders operating outside the country using a newly-installed geo-location system. The system was reportedly going to detect all decoders being used outside South African territory and close them as the act is illegal. — @pridesinstinctz.