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Naspers freezes pay-TV prices

Naspers, the parent company of Multichoice and DStv, is freezing pay-TV prices across Africa.

The decision, announced by Naspers’s CEO Bob van Dijk, is blamed on a mounting number of subscribers who are either churning their subscription or trading down to lower tiers.

Naspers results, released last Friday show that 288,000 subs have bailed out.

Multichoice this past year has attempted to raise prices in order to compensate for the strength of the US dollar, and the weakness of most of Africa’s local currencies. Most of its programming is paid for in dollars.

“We’ve frozen the prices of our products in local currency,” Van Dijk told Reuters, adding that many don’t have the disposable income to pay their subscriptions.  “That’s a big deal if you’re in a scenario with local currency still deteriorating like [Nigeria’s] Naira just did,” he said.  “It’s not all sunshine, we had a tough year in Sub-Saharan Africa,” Van Dijk said about the results.

“Besides cost reduction we also have strengthened some of the mid-tier bouquets which give people access to great content,” added Van Dijk.

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