Pay TV firms lose 20,000 customers in three months

Wednesday January 13 2021
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Pay television players experienced another contraction translating into a loss of about 20,000 subscribers between July and September 2020, a new Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) report shows

By Justus Lyatuu

Pay television players experienced another contraction translating into a loss of about 20,000 subscribers between July and September 2020,  a new Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) report shows. 
While other market segments registered significant growth under the circumstances, total active pay-TV subscriptions contracted from 1.56 million accounts at the end of June 2020 to 1.54 million at the end of September 2020.

Challenging economy 
Despite the resumption of major sports leagues worldwide, the subscription TV market’s suppressed performance may be attributed to the challenging economic climate that left many consumers financially constrained following lockdown. 
UCC’s market performance report of quarter three indicates that even with some business activity restarting, household pay-TV subscriptions might not be considered a priority for households facing economic challenges.

The Pay-Tv market in Uganda is served by a combination of satellite, cable and digital terrestrial networks, with seven licensed content aggregators.
 Uganda has seven TV subscription providers including Dstv, Kampala Siti Cable which relays information by cable, StarSat and StarTimes that use terrestrial mode of broadcasting and the rest use satellite to broadcast content; Zuku TV, Azam TV, and GoTV. 

 UCC says, “Active subscribers are at 1.56 million as of June 2020, compared to 1.58 million in the preceding quarter. This translates to a market contraction of 2 per cent.”
 The report further explains that the sustained contraction in the active pay TV market is a consequence of the continued suspension of major Sports Leagues due to the Covid-19; although some of these resumed towards the end of the review period under strict limitations.

Mr Colin Asiimwe, the head of marketing at MultiChoice admitted that 2020 was a tough year for pay TV business.
 “The environment was hard for our customers that is why we are launching a cheaper decoder that will allow them to access our service,” Mr Asimwe said. 
 

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