Pay TV Monthly Subscription Rates Unfair - Public

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In short
A number of subscribers argue that although companies drastically cut the cost of decoders, in line with the migration from analogue television, the service remains unaffordable owing to the exorbitant monthly charges.

The recent increment of monthly subscription fees for pay TV services is threatening the progress of the digital migration process, members of the public have said.

A number of subscribers argue that although companies drastically cut the cost of decoders, in line with the migration from analogue television, the service remains unaffordable owing to the exorbitant monthly charges.

They say this is a contradiction in policy, a trend that is also discouraging them from using pay TV services.

The outcry comes a few months after service providers, Multi choice Uganda increased the monthly subscription fees for their digital satellite television service, DSTV and digital terrestrial television service, GoTV.

With the change, the DSTV premium package rose 260,000 from 241,000 Shillings, the Compact plus package increased to 175,000 from 155,000 Shillings. DSTV Access was also raised 26,000 Shillings to 32,000. 

Similarly, GoTV subscription went up from 18,000 to 20,000 Shillings and from 25,500 to 28,000 Shillings for the GoTV Standard and GoTV Plus packages respectively.  Another service provider Star Times increased monthly subscription fees of its packages with Nova from 6,000 to 8,000 Shillings, Classic from 33,000 to 36,000 Shillings and Basic from 16,500 to 18,800 Shillings.

The others Azam and Zuku Satellite digital television did not increase their monthly subscription fees.

But Amir Settuba, a car dealer in Wandegeya says the rates are too high compared to the service which is characterized by network and signal problems.  Similarly, Kenneth Barongo, a data processing assistant and a number of other subscribers told Uganda Radio Network that the rates are unfair given that the programmes are often repeated.
 
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The subscribers are demanding that the increment in subscription fees should have been aligned with an improvement in services.

In a telephone Interview with Christine Nagujja, the Public Relations Officer of StarTimes attributes the rates to inflation and the depreciation of the Shilling.  Recent exchange rate depreciation saw the Shilling hit a record low of 3,600 on the sell side.