Multichoice Zambia says there are no plans to reduce subscription fees across its range of bouquets despite heightening load shedding, which has increased the company’s cost of operations.

And Multichoice Zambia says it understands the frustrations of its subscribers on the extended load shedding hours and that the company is equally feeling the pinch.

Multichoice Zambia head of corporate affairs Mwika Malindima said the company would not reduce subscription fees on its packages amidst heightened load shedding because the cost being paid to content providers remained high.

“We have incurred extra costs to ensure that we continue providing services. We also had to put in place things like generator to back-up power and other contingent facilities. As a business, we have continued to pay our suppliers, who send content to us at a full cost no matter what is happening where we have power shortages in the country. So, what we are trying to do to ensure that our customers continue to enjoy DStv without interruption is to urge our customers to use what is called the ‘DStv Now App’, which is the mobile application that you can download and will allow you to register up to four gadgets and have access to our service in trying to meet our customers,” Malindima told News Diggers! in an interview in Lusaka.

He, however, expressed solidarity with DStv subscribers who were battling against heightened load shedding, adding that Multichoice was equally negatively affected in terms of increased operational costs.

“We are together with the customers in Zambia over this issue of load shedding. As a business, we are feeling the pinch because it is frustrating our customers; it is heightening the cost of running our businesses. We have recognized that it’s tough! Economic issues are tough at the moment and we understand that our customers have a bit of frustration about the unstable power supply taking place in Zambia, and this is coming from the recent announcement of the extended power cuts countrywide. Now, like other businesses us, as Multichoice Zambia, we have also been negatively impacted by this erratic power supply and the load shedding. It’s inconveniencing the business and it has increased our operational costs,” Malindima said.

He explained that Multichoice Zambia did not provide a “Pay per View” system, which allowed customers to pay for channels of their choice.

“We have heard customers asking that we introduce what is called ‘Pay per View’ system. But just like I have explained, there are many things that come to mind and as Multichoice, we do not operate on a ‘Pay per View’ arrangement. Our model is to buy the complete channels from various channel providers across the world and we package these into different packages, such as DStv Premium, Compact and Access, and so, our services are like the purchase of a newspaper where readers will pay in full, whether you read one story you will have to pay it in full. And so, if we introduce this system, it would end up costing our customers more than what they are paying at the moment,” said Malindima.