The Federal High Court in Nigeria has ordered MultiChoice to back off from its “arbitrary” monthly increase of DStv subscription fees which would have come into effect from April.
MultiChoice and MultiChoice Africa which runs the DStv as a satellite pay-TV service across Africa, hiked its monthly subscriber fees in South Africa and across the rest of the African continent with the increase leading to vocal consumer and subscriber outrage in especially Nigeria and Zambia.
DStv subscribers in Zambia for instance saw their monthly subscription fees skyrocket from April with a massive 21%, 22%, 24% and a whopping 30% for the various DStv packages.
In Nigeria DStv hiked its monthly subscription fee by 20%.
It led to widespread anger and resentment against DStv from its subscribers, several petitions and even a press conference from DStv in Zambia to try and calm subscribers.
Now the Federal High Court in Lagos, Nigeria, has ordered MultiChoice to back off from its DStv subscription increase from April in that African nation, following two cases brought by DStv subscribers against it.
Judge C.J. Aneke granted an interim order against a subscription increase for DStv in Nigeria, ordering MultiChoice not to implement its new rates. He also ordered the details of the case and the interim injunction to be published in national newspapers in Nigeria.
Osasuyi Adebayo and Oluyinka Oyeniji are challenging MultiChoice’s DStv subscription increases in a first “class action” case.
Then in a second case, they also want Nigeria’s Federal High Court to order Nigeria’s National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to implement “pay per view” where DStv are allowed to choose only the TV channels they wish to watch and pay for – something known as an “a la carte” offering in the pay-TV business through a process known as “unbundling”.
“An order of interim injunction is hereby granted to the parties to maintain the status quo restraining the 1st defendant (Multichoice/DStv) from giving effect or enforcing its planned increase in cost of the different classes of viewing or programmes bouquet, pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice,” reads the injunction.
The case will be heard on 16 April.