Kwese Sports recently signed a four-year deal with Union of European Football Associations (Uefa) and Fifa, giving it broadcast rights for the Uefa national team football matches, 2018 World Cup and Euro 2020 across the continent with an exception of South Africa, raising competition for sports viewership in Uganda and the continent at large.
The pan-African sports television company owned by Zimbabwean billionaire Strive Masiyiwa has signed broadcast rights for live and delayed matches, highlights, on-demand programming as well as localised review programmes on its free to air and pay-tv, according to the deal. This deal is likely to affect MultiChoice that has dominated sports in Uganda for a long time.
However, in an exclusive interview with Business Focus (BF), Tina Wamala (TW), the MultiChoice Uganda Spokesperson says they welcome competition and they are ready to remain ahead of the game.
Below are the excerpts of the interview;
BF: DStv has been the leading sports channel in Uganda for years. However, competition from Kwese Sports and StarTimes are threatening your position. How is Multichoice/DStv positioning itself to keep ahead of the game? Aren’t you threatened that you could be relegated to the 3rd position soon?
TW: MultiChoice welcomes competition in the pay television and entertainment industry as we believe it is good for consumers. However, since our customers are the heart of our business our goal is to deliver value by always ensuring that our customers enjoy only the best sports content in the world via quality platforms. We achieve this goal by continually broadening our sports offering and innovating the technology on which we deliver entertainment to our valued customers.
Through SuperSport, MultiChoice offers the sports customers the Premier League that has now been extended until 2022 as well as the biggest international football events in the world including La Liga, the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship, UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifiers, European qualifiers for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar and the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
As you know, you can never have too much football or sports so our viewers will continue to be delighted with a wide world of sports offering featuring the Formula One and motorsport, rugby, cycling, athletics, boxing, Tennis, Golf, eSports and more.
The best part is we deliver this unmatched and unrivalled in glorious HD on no less than 15 channels that take our customers’ sports viewing experience to the next level. What’s more, our customers can watch their favourite sports, anytime, anywhere and on any device.
BF: Given the increasing competition for pay-Tv, the price factor will play a big role in who wins this battle. Is DStv planning to lower its monthly subscriptions for various bouquets/plans?
TW: In October 2016, we reduced our subscription substantially as a way of adding more value to our subscriber and meeting them half way in terms of the hard economic times we are living in. This year, we decided to freeze subscription prices barring further economic shocks so that our subscribers can continue to enjoy their entertainment without the worry of a price increase. What’s more, we have continued to enhance our packages by dropping down premium content to lower tier packages for more customers to enjoy great entertainment at a price that they can afford.
BF: What key challenges are pay TV firms like MultiChoice facing?
TW: Piracy- which has a detrimental effect on any industry, and will lead to the long term erosion of the industry.
This includes the effect on artists and filmmaker’s rights and their payments, the detrimental effect on the Ugandan economy since generally those involved in piracy do not pay for the goods or services that they utilize and hardly, if ever, pay taxes and/or employ staff.
The money that they make on the theft, since that is what piracy ultimately is, goes only to their pockets and not the rightful owners of the rights or materials.
BF: In your opinion, what makes Multichoice/DStv unique from other competitors?
TW: At MultiChoice, we listen to our customers to understand their changing lives, the pressures they face and what matters most to them. We are also committed to using these insights to put customers at the heart of all the decisions that each of us makes every day.
We’re reshaping our business to improve our customers’ experience, whenever and wherever they engage with us.
Our DStv & GOtv content is unmatched, not only in terms of sports but other genres ranging from series, movies, documentaries, music, news etc. We deliver our content through leading-edge technology and state-of-the-art HD decoders; the Explora and the Zapper.
Both these decoders provide superior picture and sound quality.
The Explora gives customers full control of their viewing experience allowing them to rewind, forward and pause live television.
Applications such as Catch Up also allow customers to catch up on any programming they may have missed out on. Our movie rental application Box office allows customers to rent the latest blockbuster movies from the comfort of their home.
We are also aware that trends and times have changed, the lifestyle of the customer today isn’t the same as it was 10 or 15 years ago – we introduced an application called DStv Now that allows our active premium customers to watch TV on the GO through their Android or iOS phones anytime, anywhere throughout the continent of Africa.
BF: Your last word….
TW: Our business is to deliver an excellent customer service. That is the reason we take our customers’ feedback seriously because it helps us to improving ourselves in order to deliver the quality service they deserve. We exist because of our valued customers and so, we will continue to make sure that they feel appreciated for inviting us into their homes and to spend quality time with their loved ones.