According to the National Population Commission, Nigeria has an estimated population of 198 million out of which about 120 million constituting 60% of the universe are TV viewing households. Another 103 million (52%) of the population are involved in the use of internet of things for their business and communication needs while 146 million (73%) are hooked to one handheld device or another (Source, NCC).
As the daily demand and reliance on television, internet and handheld devices for information access continues on its upward trajectory, so is the demand by Nigerians for services such as Internet Protocol TV (IPTV), Video on Demand (VOD) and pay TV Satellite services to keep in touch with the global community.
This growing demand for the “new and affordable” has upped the stakes in the pay television industry to the extent that more players are keen to join the fray despite the high industry mortality rate in response to consumer needs.
One of such new entrants is Telecom Satellite Television, TSTV, a digital satellite service provider which has braved the odds to relaunch its services after a botched first time attempt marred by what the company has termed “man-made factors.”
In its determined quest to liberalise access to TV viewing and catapult more Nigerians into the digital age, Telecom Satellite Television, (TSTV) has made a second spirited attempt to break the glass ceiling with the commercial launch of its services. The re-entry comes with a disruptive industry service called “pay as you watch” which is considered both novel and a cheaper alternative to existing options.
The pay as you watch services, contrary to the existing industry practice of charging a pre-determined monthly bill irrespective of downtime, availability of power or force majeure such as rain-induced service disruption, puts power and control directly in the hands of the subscribers. This innovation empowers subscriber to switch off their devices when not in use without the attendant risk of paying for an idle decoder.
Concerning the challenges encountered in the company’s first coming and the learning outcomes, the Chief Operating Officer of TSTV, Benjamin Zidah said the company did a massive overhauling of staff to bring in professionals in the field to drive the company through the turbulent storm and prepare it for a much-awaited roll out.
Mr. Zidah said TSTV, which is an indigenous brand, is currently transmitting over 50 channels for free, and currently reviewing and optimizing the channels as well as creating a distribution network for easy accessibility of their product.
He also revealed that: “TSTV has not forgotten her promises to Nigerians, neither have we abandoned them. In our bid to serve our customers better, we have recruited seasoned and experienced talents and veterans who have occupied similar roles and capacities in the pay TV industry in Nigeria to manage TSTV.”
“In line with our promise to Nigerians”, he continued, “We have entered into fresh and strategic relationships with reputable international brands with the aim to supply us with premium and uninterrupted transmission and content.”
He said the company had entered into partnership with Azercosmos which is an open Joint Stock Company to improve their content offering.
“One of such partnership is with Azercosmos. Azercosmos is an Open Joint Stock Company and a satellite operator based in Azerbaijan, and the first satellite operator in the Caucasus region. It is entirely owned by the government of Azerbaijan.”
“Furthermore, we have entered into partnerships to improve our content offering. We are also in various advance talks with other international content providers to acquire more premium content and channels”, Zidah said.
“Our subscription model will be on a pay as you watch basis for all available channels charged on an hourly rate. We currently run on a single bouquet and all the channels on this bouquet will be available for this hourly rate”, he added.
TSTV is currently taking delivery and distributing its stock of decoders, dishes and other accessories to its trade partners with a promise to announce the date for the final nationwide rollout of its services in January, 2019.