MultiChoice Records Loss As Subscribers Reduces Across Africa

Tribunal Fines Multichoice N150 Million, Orders Free DStv, GOtv Sub for Nigerians
Tribunal Fines Multichoice N150 Million, Orders Free DStv, GOtv Sub for Nigerians

MultiChoice, a leading pan-African broadcaster, has reported a considerable net loss of 4.1 billion rand (approximately $225.8 million) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2024. This marks the second consecutive year the company has reported losses, with its latest financial results reflecting the challenges posed by economic conditions in its key markets.

The company faced subscriber declines, particularly in Nigeria, where active subscribers decreased to 8.1 million, a drop from the previous year’s figures. This reduction led to a significant decrease in Nigeria’s revenue contribution to the Rest of Africa segment, lowering it from 44% to 35%. In Ghana and Nigeria, inflationary pressures and currency fluctuations were cited as key factors affecting consumer purchasing power and subsequent spending on entertainment services.

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MultiChoice’s executive summary highlighted the impact of economic challenges on mass-market customers, particularly in Nigeria, where prioritization of basic necessities over entertainment services was noted. Additionally, South Africa saw a 5% reduction in active subscribers, with the figure standing at 7.6 million at the year’s end. The company attributed this decline to the consistent power outages during the fiscal year, which deterred customers without backup power solutions from subscribing due to uncertainty around service availability.

The broadcaster also experienced a decrease in premium customer numbers by 8%, and a slight 2% drop in the mass market tier across all its markets.

Adding to its financial woes, MultiChoice incurred remittance losses amounting to $59 million during the year due to foreign exchange market volatility in Nigeria. This figure, while significant, is a reduction from the previous fiscal year’s $132 million loss attributed to similar issues.

Chief Financial Officer Tim Jacobs expressed that despite the challenging economic environment and declining customer affordability, MultiChoice has continued to see positive engagement on its platform, particularly due to its robust acquisition of sports content and the appeal of major sporting events.

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