StarTimes, a Pay-TV provider, has reaffirmed subscription affordability through the pay-as-you-go model as it adds new offerings.
The new contents to be offered by the company include Toonami, Ceebies, ST School Junior, ST School Senior, Human Right, Dunamis, Love Nature, Smithsonian, Colors TV, Sky News, Tiwa ‘n’ Tiwa, Filmbox and more.
Speaking during a virtual conference meeting, Marketing Manager of StarTimes, Viki Liu, who was represented by the Public Relations Manager, Mr. Lazarus Ibeabuchi said that subscribers can still adopt the pay-as-you-go model with the introduction of the Nova bouquet for N900($2.32).
“To bring these exciting offerings within the reach of every Nigerian, Liu said: “As entertainment provider we pioneered and remains the only player in the Nigerian market offering flexible subscription options allowing Nigerians to subscribe according to their needs and means.”
She noted that the pay-as-you-go options are available for all bouquets; and whether a customer subscribes daily, weekly or monthly to a bouquet, the subscriber will have access to the same channels and services, adding that flexible billing systems are reasonable for people who do not spend reasonable time watching television after subscription.
According to her, “due to StarTimes’ giant stride to make digital TV affordable to all families, the price of pay-TV has been greatly lowered, from average $50 per month to 3 or 5 dollars per month.
The pay-TV company which also made a slight increase on its offerings said this is necessitated by the impact of the rising foreign exchange rate which has lead to the upward review of its prices. According to her, “our business is not exempted from the effect of the naira depreciation affecting all businesses in the country.
All of our foreign content is bought in dollars and to continually serve our subscribers the best content, the subscription price has to be reviewed upwards.” “Over the last couple of months, StarTimes has been adding new and exciting channels, great local and international channels for the viewing pleasure of our teeming subscribers without an additional charge. These channels, including other existing flagship channels and content, were acquired at a cost which StarTimes has continued to bear to cushion the economic pressure on subscribers.”
Zimbabwe’s ruling party said it will expel Old Mutual Ltd. from its financial system, sowing confusion over the status of the insurance giant in the country and what will happen next in the government’s battle to fix its chaotic currency system.
The highest decision-making body of the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front on Friday said it endorsed a decision to “eject Old Mutual from the financial system” and to shut down the country’s biggest mobile-money platform, Ecocash. The institutions have caused “runaway inflation through illegal parallel exchange-market rates,” the party’s acting spokesman, Patrick Chinamasa, said after the meeting in Harare.
The government wants to stop companies from using differences in the 175-year-old insurer’s share prices in London, Johannesburg and Harare to determine a potential forward rate for the currency. Measures that were being considered included suspending Old Mutual’s shares from the local bourse, having the securities traded in dollars, or moving it to a planned foreign-exchange based market, people familiar with the matter said earlier this month.
“When they say it is ejected, I’m not sure what he means,” said Lloyd Mlotshwa, the head of equities at Harare-based IH Securities. “I’m not sure it’s a delisting yet, at this point it’s a confusing statement.”
Chinamasa didn’t give further details or respond to calls and text messages from Bloomberg seeking comment.
The local stock exchange has been shut for two weeks after security forces forced the government to cease trading and halt most mobile-money transactions, people familiar with the matter said last month. Clive Mphambela, a Treasury spokesman, declined to comment. A spokesperson for Old Mutual in Johannesburg didn’t respond to calls and a text message seeking comment. Nick Mangwana, a government spokesman, didn’t immediately reply to a text message.
A perennial shortage of cash means anyone who has banknotes is able to negotiate exchange rates with brokers who pay the funds onto mobile-money platforms. The brokers can then sell the hard cash at an even higher rate. The Old Mutual Implied Rate values the Zimbabwean dollar at 122 against the greenback, compared with a black-market rate of about 100, and Friday’s closing price of 65.8765. The government in June abandoned a peg of 25:1 that was put in place in March.
Justin Bgoni, the chief executive officer of the stock exchange, said he is aware of the comments from the ruling party, but wasn’t sure what it implied and would rather wait for official communication from authorities before commenting.
Sean Gammon, managing director of Harare-based Imara Edwards Securities Pvt Ltd. said the comments by Zanu-PF were probably directed at delisting Old Mutual rather than its removal from the entire financial services sector. Old Mutual spans banking, property and insurance in the country.
The last communication received from authorities was that inspections would be conducted into stockbroker trades in the coming days, he said. Once concluded, trading should resume.