Nigerian Court Stops Multichoice’s DSTV, GO TV Subscription Fees Hike

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MultichoiceA Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos State, has granted an order of interim injunction restraining Multichoice from enforcing an increase in the cost of its different classes of pay TV, DSTV and GO TV until the determination of the motion on notice.

Justice C J Aneke, while issuing the order requested both parties to maintain status quo in favour of the motion ex parte with an affidavit of urgency sworn to by the plantiff, Adebayo Osasuyi, who is a DSTV subscriber.

In his verdict, Justice Aneke declared: “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.

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“That an order is hereby granted certifying the plaintiffs’ claim as a class action for themselves as individual subscribers, other corporate subscribers, distributors and retailers of the 1st defendants’ services.

“That an order is hereby granted restraining any other person whether individual or corporate from instituting any other action as may be related to the action against the defendant to prevent multiplicity of lawsuits pursuant to the appointment of the plaintiffs in the class action but may instead opt in or out of this action”.

The suit, thereafter, was adjourned to April 16, 2015 for hearing.

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MultiChoice, operators of DStv and GOtv, The Street Reporters recalls, had last month announced a 20 percent price increase for all its satellite pay TV bouquets in Nigeria to take effect from April 1, 2015.

MultiChoice is a South African company with activities involving the operation of Pay-Television and internet subscriber platforms. The MultiChoice group includes the digital satellite Pay-Television business (“DStv”), which has been in operation since 1995.

Other businesses in the group include M-Net (delivers thematic channels and exclusive content to DStv subscribers) and SuperSport (provides comprehensive coverage of local and global sport), DStv Media Sales (commercial airtime sales and on-air sponsorship), DStv Digital Media (a division of MultiChoice and oversees the development of emerging platforms and products for the group), MWEB (internet service provider), Commerce Zone (e-procurement solutions) and Smart Village (gated community services).

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