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Does Malawi lack any regional cable TV providers?

Satellite TV services are now a significant player in the media and entertainment landscape in Africa thanks to the continent’s impressive technological advancements and connectivity in recent years.

Cable TV By Techrectory
Cable TV By Techrectory

The pricing policies of Cable TV providers are the subject of increased attention and scrutiny.

The owner of DStv, Gotv, and Showmax, Multichoice, customizes its offerings for regional markets. To increase its presence and gain a competitive edge in Africa’s pay-TV market, it is introducing localized billing systems and expanding local payment options for Cable TV.

Multichoice’s primary source of income is the wider African region’s DStv subscriptions. The most recent dispute with an African government occurred in Malawi, despite the fact that the company has been at the forefront of cable television in Africa.

Following a high court decision that barred the company from implementing further price increases for DSTV service in the nation, Multichoice is leaving Malawi.

The Pan-African broadcaster made the announcement that it would no longer offer DStv in Malawi. This came after Malawian regulators decided to reject the most recent price increases for Cable TV Provider ‘DStv’.

The Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) was granted a temporary injunction by the High Court of the nation at the end of July. Multichoice Malawi was forbidden by the injunction from altering the DSTV tariffs.

Taxes are a bigger deal

MultiChoice’s home market of South Africa has seen a decline in pay-TV viewership, but the business now depends more on its operations in the rest of Africa to remain profitable.

The general populace of the country responded when Multichoice Nigeria proposed raising subscription prices for Nigerian subscribers in April 2023. This decision was defended by citing economic difficulties and rising corporate costs.

The loss of commerce, entertainment, education, and information for its citizens as a result of MultiChoice’s withdrawal worries the government of Malawi. The corporation is currently being urged by the government to come to a “win-win” agreement.

According to Moses Kunkuyu, a spokesman for the Ministry of Information and Government, MultiChoice’s exit will have a disastrous impact on the economy, including the capacity of the government to collect taxes.

MultiChoice claimed that they could not comply with the directive given to MCM and that they would rather resign than continue in the increasingly unfavorable regulatory environment.

Due to the shifting market conditions and the legitimate concerns raised by the local population, local cable TV providers in Malawi should be encouraged to grow and prosper. The government may not be able to create an environment that supports the growth of regional businesses if its sole focus is taxation.

But given the government’s stance, we must wonder why the nation should rely entirely on cable television for news and entertainment.

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Written by Grace Ene

Author for Techrectory.

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