DStv is a subject of debate on Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and email conversations, after a document circulating suggested that monthly subscription prices would increase by at least 28 per cent.
MultiChoice Uganda, that owns satellite TV service DStv, have denied this communication, insisting it didn’t come through the official channels.
“If we were to communicate any price changes, we would do it formally and through the proper channels,” Ms Tina Wamala, the public relations and communications manager, told Daily Monitor in a telephone interview.
In an official statement, MultiChoice said: “MultiChoice Uganda informs its subscribers and the general public that the price incremental document being circulated on social media is not an officially sanctioned communication from the company and was an internal discussion document.
“We only communicate our price revisions directly to our subscribers and placing adverts or notifications through non-traditional and traditional media channels, which has not been the case as per now.”
The document circulating on the internet reads in part “…On October 1, DStv will implement a price increase on subscription fees in Uganda. The increase has been necessitated by the recent appreciation of the US dollar against the Shilling…”
The outrage was visible on the internet as subscribers took to MultiChoice Uganda social media accounts to express their grievances.
The screen subscription fees for Premium, Compact +, Compact, Family and Access will increase to Shs334,000, Shs225,000, Shs128,000, Shs73,000 and Shs38,000 respectively. This would represent price increments of between 21 per cent and 28 per cent.
The new rates, would have also made the service even more expensive as black market competitors provide cheaper options, especially for the Barclays Premier League matches.
When asked to comment on the actual contents of the statement, MultiChoice insisted that for any communication on price changes, it would come through official channels.
Shift in channels
Since the beginning of the year, MultiChoice has so far increased their prices twice, including shifting the more than 90 per cent of the English Premier League matches from Supersport 3 to Supersport 5. A service previously available for Compact + subscribers, the change now means only Premium subscribers can access the much demanded league.
The prices since January have been largely attributed to the depreciation of the Uganda Shilling in the last one year. Between March and August 2015, the Shilling depreciated from 3,000 to 3,500.
how the rates have changed over time
Old rate (2014) January 2015 March 2015 to date
Premium Shs202,800 Shs241,000 Shs260,000
Compact + Shs124,800 Shs155,000 Shs175,000
Compact Shs72,800 Shs94,875 Shs99,620
Family Shs52,000 Shs57,500 Shs59,747
Access Shs26,000 Shs28,750 Shs32,000