MultiChoice Adds N1.7m Active Subscribers – Report
Despite the liquidity constraints, MultiChoice group has added 1.7 million 90-day subscribers representing 8% year-on-year (YoY) growth to close the year at 23.5 million subscribers.
Revealing this through its consolidated yearly financial statement for the year ended March 31, 2023, MultiChoice Group said it has continued to ramp up its overall subscriber base, primarily through a strong performance in the rest of Africa.
MultiChoice said the 90-day subscriber base comprised 14.2 million households (60 per cent) in the Rest of Africa and 9.3 million households (40 per cent) in South Africa.
The strong performance in the Rest of Africa, which added 1.4 million subscribers, was underpinned by the decoder subsidy and marketing investments for the FIFA World Cup, which will be fully paid back by the end of 1H FY24.
It said this together with yearly price increases resulted in the Rest of Africa delivering positive trading profit for the first time since the group listed in 2019. Indeed, in Nigeria, MultiChoice announced an upward review of the costs of its DStv and GOtv packages by 17 per cent, in text messages sent to subscribers.
Commenting on the report, the Chief Executive Officer of MultiChoice Africa, Fhulufhelo Badugela, said: “Our industry has faced numerous challenges in recent times. However, we have risen above these challenges, leveraging our strengths to overcome them, and that is something we take great pride in.”
However, the firm had hinged the tariff hike on the rising costs of business operations in the country which took effect from May 1, 2023. The 2023 hike came barely a year when the prices were reviewed upward by the firm.
Still on the report, MultiChoice described it as an exceptional performance from the Rest of Africa team as it was achieved despite absorbing more than ZAR2.9 billion in currency losses in the last four financial years. In contrast, the South African consumer environment weakened sharply, especially in the second half of the financial year.
MultiChoice explained that permanent high stages of load shedding, interest rate hikes and elevated inflation levels have left a large portion of the group’s customer base unable to watch or afford video entertainment services. Although SA 90-day subscribers grew by 0.3 million YoY, lower levels of activity, represented by active days, were experienced, which resulted in a two per cent decline in SA revenue.
Driven by its commitment to local storytelling, the broader MultiChoice Group invested in local content, empowering African talent and fostering a thriving creative industry. In its financial year 2023, local content accounted for 50 per cent of the Group’s total general entertainment spend, surpassing this target one year earlier than expected. The group’s local content library now boasts over 76,000 hours, with local content production delivering a nine per cent year-on-year increase to 6,587 hours.
According to the firm, despite challenging market conditions, MultiChoice Africa’s unwavering dedication to telling African stories and its ongoing investment in local content has been a driving force behind its success in a highly competitive sector. It has demonstrated its commitment to growing, amplifying, and multiplying Africa through the power of entertainment, the power of its stakeholders, and the power of its people, evident through this promising set of results.