5 cable networks that have tried to end DSTV’s dominance

It appears that TSTV is set to end DSTV’s stranglehold, but many other networks have tried to do the same in the past.

The introduction of the new cable network, TSTV has many excited about the prospect of an alternative to DSTV’s pricey bouquet options.

Multichoice has dominated the Nigerian market, mostly due to a lack of options more than the fact that it offers so much more, except when rain falls or the irrelevance of over 100 filler channels becomes evident.

Before TSTV, many cable television brands had tried to break this expensive stranglehold, to varying degrees of success. Here are five cable companies who have appeared to joust with the big players.

(1) ACTVAfrican Cable Television is a direct-to-home (DTH) television service that was founded in 2013; the brand’s services launched in November 2014.

playACTV has a considerable user base in Lagos. (thingsnew.ng)

ACTV is targeted at the middle class in Nigeria’s smaller cities. It has four bouquet plans: SatelioPrimeFamily and Family Plus, in order of the subscription costs.

The range of channels combines usual suspects like NatGeo WildMTV Base and Nickelodeonwith unfamiliar options like Magic and VH1.

(2) Montage TV: Montage TV is a pay TV service that has operated, albeit on a small scale, since 2014. The service operates in various Nigerian states, as well as some countries in Africa.

Montage TV packages are sold on e-commerce sites. (DealDey)

With over 36 channels, it’s main strengths are in news (where it has the common channels), documentaries and lifestyle. Montage TV takes pride in its affordability which has proved popular in the South-South and among some families in bigger cities.

The decoder costs 15 thousand naira. There is only one subscription plan which provides access to all channels for 3,500 naira.

(3) HITVToyin Subair’s brainchild will be remembered for coming the closest to ending DSTV dominance. The service pulled a masterstroke by securing exclusive rights to the English Premier League, blindsiding the competition for over a year.

Legal proceedings were instituted against Toyin Subair to recover investment funds and bad debts that had been incurred during HITV’s lifetim (My Story Time)

HITV was an upper-class product, but many viewing centres and leisure spots used its service for match-day broadcasts or to entertain guests and patrons. HITV also had channels like HiNolly and others which created and broadcast local content in line with the platform’s programming.

Ultimately, after two seasons, HITV lost the exclusive rights to the football leagues and an exodus of subscribers began. Soon after, news of financial malfeasance began to break on blogs. Months later, Subair announced that HITV had become bankrupt.

(4) FSTVFrontstage Satellite Television was introduced to the Nigerian public in 2011. The project was said to have been financed by a consortium of Nigerian banks.

FSTV was directly created to tackle DTSV and its roll-out made a lot of the fact that it came not from South Africa but Europe.

The service had over 50 channels, including a mix of franchise and major network channels like CNNBET and Discovery, and its own localized channels; FSMovieFSMiracles and more.

FSTV was among the first to introduce scratch cars instead of making long trips to the bank or dealership. The enthusiasm of this project was not matched by the profits and a while after it launched, FSTV died a quiet painless death.

(5) TSTV: The new pay-per-view cable television network has introduced itself with more attractive options than you might feel you deserve; apart from a decoder that lets you pay for only the content that you have viewed.

It also offers 100 channels, including 10 sports channels that will sound like a gift to most football fans.

TSTV has a range of programming options that surpasses its subscription costs. (TSTV)

Users will also have access to a free data bonus of 20gb, along with a front-facing camera for video calls. The decoder will also have 50gb of space for users to save their favourite shows and matches.

Its price plans are also a major talking point; the decoder costs 5000 naira and subscription plans vary between 200 naira and 3000 naira. TSTV is set to officially launch on October 1, 2017.

Already, it is clear that it will gulp a large part of DSTV’s market share.

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