Subscribers of StarTimes, the Chinese-owned Pay TV service provider, have described the content broadcast on the platform as below standard and called for an upgrade of its content offerings. The subscribers took to StarTimes’ official Twitter handle, @StarTimes_Ng, to ventilate their dissatisfaction with what the Pay TV provider offers on its bouquets.
They were responding to a series of tweets through which the company announced a reduction of subscription rates on its packages. The tweets, posted on Monday, read: “We aware of the recent price hike in subscription by D other pay TV network and sincerely think that Nigerians deserve better.
“This price increment is highly insensitive to the current economic hardship most Nigerians, who also happen to be pay TV subscribers, are faced with.
“Since their price increment took effect last week, we have received tons of DMs, mentions and enquiries about our pricing, products and services by defecting customers.
“In view of this, we are happy to inform everyone that our highest bouquet (Classic bouquet) price will be reduced from N2, 600 to N1,900-with the inclusion of Ebony Life TV, ST Nollywood Plus & Fox.
“We hope that everyone who seeks quality entertainment at pocket-friendly rates jumps on this opportunity to do so.”
But rather than applause, subscribers expressed dissatisfaction. Tweeting from the handle, @getzgive_ng, a respondent posted: “This is more like paying less for nothing. What exactly are you bringing to the table in terms of content? Do what the other pay TV is doing and be competitive…you are still not a match even with your price reduction.”
Enomfom Ukpong, tweeting from the handle, @EnoTips, wrote: “I doubt if you have what it takes to compete with the other pay TV network.”
A woman, Hanne Dowole (@Ehi_Hanne), complained about StarTimes’ loss of the rights to the Italian Serie A. “My husband is a die-hard supporter of your platform. Of recent, he’s been worried that you might have lost the right to TIM Serie A games. Do you still have the rights? Answer pls,” she wrote. She got no answer from StarTimes.
But a respondent, Lulu, who tweeted as @iamAlub, helped her out by tweeting: “The other company has bought rights to Serie A”. The loss of Serie A rights seems to rankle a lot, with a subscriber tweeting from @doriaboy to ask: “Is there no way you can bring Serie A TIM? When will you air Coppa Italia games? Both are Italian football though.” He got no response. Similarly, one Anumorigba, tweeting as@evra_tee, asked: “Is it that you will not air Serie A anymore? Cos you didn’t mention it?” Like those who asked before, he got no response.
A particularly disaffected subscriber, Ebenezer Anokwah (@eanokwah), wrote: Please, Never compare yourself with@DStvNg@DStv_Ghana@SuperSp ortTV because they offer quality and the world’s best and lucrative leagues and live sporty than you. They spend over $1.5 billion to acquire sports broadcasting rights for EPL, UCL, La Liga etc. U?
One Pastor Edward Daniel (@edward_pastor), wrote: “Dear StarTimes, in this business, content is king. People pay for your success in getting what they want, not the other way round.”
Another Twitter user, @MuzikalJaydon, wrote that he does not mind paying a higher sum for better content. “If you can get the English Premier League, UEFA Champions League, FA Cup, Carabao Cup, La Liga and other more interesting football tournaments, not many people will mind paying 5k sef.”
Football, however, is not the only cause of dissatisfaction, as evidenced by the response of Xeeno Miller (@Greenyzeeny). She wrote: “Do you have Telemundo and Zeeworld? If you do, trust me, you’d have a high influx of customers in less than a week. Even grandmothers in the village watch both channels.”
Another Twitter user, Freshy Adeyemi (@Adefreshy), complained about the visual quality. In his response to StarTimes, he wrote: “Even the quality of your visual content is poor compared to D other pay TV network. Y’all need to roll up your sleeves for great competition if you mean biz.”