Pay-TV losing Zimbabweans as economic slowdown takes its toll


Africa’s largest pay TV provider MultiChoice lost nearly 40 percent of its total subscriber base in Zimbabwe in the year ended March 31 as economic uncertainties prompt consumers to cut back on spending.

MultiChoice is a South Africa based company that operates the DStv Satellite Television service, a major pay-TV service with about 20 million subscribers in some 49 countries in Africa.

According to MultiChoice, the company lost 92,000 subscribers in Zimbabwe due to an economic crisis which is characterized by hyperinflation, a liquidity crisis and chronic power outages.

“In Zimbabwe, the current hyperinflationary economic environment and lack of U.S. dollar liquidity caused significant pressure on consumers, while severe drought-related electricity shortages of up to 18 hours per day in the country negatively impacted on the demand for pay TV services,” MultiChoice said in a statement on Thursday.

MultiChoice said it still has 98,000 active subscribers in Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe is experiencing its worst economic crisis in a decade. The local currency, Zimbabwean dollar, has plummeted on the black market, and year-on-year inflation stood at about 765 percent in April, according to official statistical agency ZimStat.

The World Bank estimated that the southern African country’s economy will shrink as much as 10 percent this year. Enditem

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