By Modupe Gbadeyanka
MultiChoice Africa, owners of the popular pay-TV platform, DStv, has announced the immediate withdrawal of its services in Malawi.
In a statement on Wednesday, the company said it was shutting down its operations in the East African country because of a court judgement which prevented it from increasing its subscription fees.
DStv had upwardly reviewed the prices of its packages in the country, but the government stopped this and took the matter to court through the Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA).
MACRA secured an injunction from the High Court in Lilongwe prohibiting an adjustment to the DStv tariffs.
Not satisfied with this, MultiChoice has announced the withdrawal of DStv services in the country with “immediate effect,” according to the statement seen by Business Post.
“MultiChoice Malawi (MCM) does not offer the DStv service to the public and therefore cannot set or adjust tariffs for this service, a point repeatedly made to MACRA.
“As a result, the order handed down to MCM is incapable of being implemented by them but carries with it grave consequences for the directors and management of MultiChoice Malawi, including imprisonment.
“MAH given the impact on its supplier (MCM) and an increasingly adverse regulatory environment, is therefore left with no option but to terminate the DStv service indefinitely.
“Customers are hereby, and with immediate effect, requested to halt payment for the DStv service. Customers who have already paid their new subscription for the DStv service will have those services honoured until the current 30-day viewing cycle ends on or before September 10, 2023.
“From Wednesday, August 9, 2023, no new subscriptions or reconnections will be accepted,” the statement read.
MultiChoice almost faced a similar situation in Nigeria when it hiked DStv tariffs a few years ago.