Pay-TV Hike Ahead of AFCON: StarTimes Raises Subscription Prices by 15%

Just days before the highly anticipated Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament kicks off, StarTimes, a leading pay-TV provider in Nigeria and across Africa, took to its X, otherwise known as Twitter to announce a 15% increase in subscription fees across all its packages.

This price hike, effective from January 10, 2024, has left many football fans and loyal viewers surprised and frustrated.

StarTimes attributed the price adjustment to “rising operational costs and the need to maintain and improve the quality of content.”

Furthermore, StarTime emphasized its commitment to delivering “an exceptional viewing experience” and cited investments in broadcasting rights, technology upgrades, and channel diversification as drivers of the change.

However, the timing of the price increase, coinciding with the peak viewership period for AFCON, has raised concerns about its impact on accessibility.

Meanwhile, StarTimes raised its subscription prices for all bouquets, but the Super bouquet (which includes sports channels showing AFCON) got hit the hardest with a 15% increase, jumping from N6,500 to N7,500.

Football is a major cultural touchstone in Africa, and the tournament is a cherished event for millions. With inflation already biting, the added cost for StarTimes subscriptions could put the joy of watching their national teams compete out of reach for some.

The announcement has sparked mixed reactions on social media, with some viewers expressing understanding for the need for cost adjustments while others criticized the timing and potential implications.

Reacting to the announcement, an X, formerly Twitter user, @Akoraydey1920, said:

“It seems you guys are now showing yourself. What’s special about StarTimes that you are increasing prices? Just some months back, you guys increased, now again. Mine is about football, I will be seeing that on my phone.”

Another user @baanafemi reacted and said “Thank God I have not bought StarTimes. I wanted to buy it because of AFCON, but with this new price increment, I have a rethink. You are not different from DSTV. The Super Eagles are not even worth it.”

Meanwhile, the price hike could open doors for competitors in the pay-TV market, with viewers exploring alternatives for their AFCON viewing needs.

It remains to be seen how the increased subscription fees will impact StarTimes’ subscriber base and the overall viewing experience during AFCON.

The company’s success in navigating this delicate situation will depend on its ability to effectively communicate the rationale behind the price adjustments and offer value-added services that justify the additional cost.

The Africa Cup of Nations kicks off on January 13, 2024, with 24 national teams vying for the prestigious title. StarTimes, along with other broadcasters, possesses exclusive rights to air the tournament across Africa.

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