OurTV is Bringing Free-to-air TV Service to Nigerians, But Can it Succeed Where TStv Failed?

The satellite TV market in Nigeria has been majorly dominated by DSTv. Although several other satellite TV services have challenged them, none has been able to push them off the summit.

OurTV, a new Nigerian satellite TV service is looking to carve a niche for itself in the competitive Nigerian market by offering Free To Air (FTA) Satellite TV services.

Established by Trefoil Networks Limited, OurTV wants to leverage on the fact that their service does not require any monthly or annual paid subscription service to attract Nigerians.

With just a one time payment of N11,900, anyone can purchase OurTV decoder and dish from their listed dealers. However, their dealers are listed in only 9 states of the federation including Lagos and Abuja.

A spokesman for Drax Ventures, a dealer for OurTV explained that the satellite Tv had coverage across the country despite the fact that its dealers are only listed in 9 states.

The OurTV Set-Top box contains an H265 DTV hybrid decoder protected by Verimatrix with inbuilt PVR and IP capability. The decoder also supports viewing of  YouTube and other Over-the-Air (OTT).

It accepts 4G, 3G dongles or USB Wi-Fi to provide access to an internet connection which allows you to browse and view anything with the device.

Nigeria’s competitive satellite market

Although OurTV’s offerings look mouth-watering, it’s not the first Nigerian satellite TV company to offer something like it. In 2017, TSTv launched with the intention of disrupting DStv’s dominance in the market by offering Pay-per-view satellite TV. The service would cost 200 Naira per day and an add-on bonus of 20 Gigabyte free data allowance.

However, the company soon ran into trouble as it was unable to fulfil its promises thus becoming a victim of the strong competitions in the market.

OurTV has a very enticing model and is the first to provide Direct to Home (DTH) TV Broadcast in Africa. However, questions still linger if they will be able to make any considerable impact against DStv where TStv failed.

For one, its services aren’t exactly free as one has to pay a fee of N11,900 to obtain a decoder. If it targets low-income earners, then there is a huge possibility that many of them can’t afford a one-time payment of 11,900.

Even if they manage to, would they be willing to exchange that sum for the kind of content OurTV is offering? This brings us to the quality and quantity of the contents.

The largest satellite TV in Nigeria, DStv has over 200 television and radio stations. OurTV has a meagre 17 television stations. Also, only 3 out of the 17 TV channels are actually popular among Nigerians. In essence, many of the favourites are missing from the platform.

OurTV Brings Free-to-air TV to Nigerians, But Can it Succeed Where TStv Failed?

This could spell trouble for them as other competitors have numerous stations that are popular among Nigerians.

However, a free subscription model might yet draw in the millions of medium and low-income Nigerians who can’t afford DStv subscriptions.

More than 82 million Nigerians are poor and would welcome any free service

Another drawback the satellite TV could face is the absence of rights to any popular football competition. In Nigeria, DStv has benefited significantly from its monopoly of several football competition rights in the country like the EPL, Champions League, La Liga and Serie A.

Other competitors like Star Times enjoys rights to the Bundesliga, English Football League Cup and the English FA Cup. These rights have greatly improved subscription to its platform.

OurTV doesn’t boast of any football or sporting rights and this makes it more unlikely for people to opt for it even if it’s free.

Summary

Although it might be too early to tell how well OurTV will do in Nigeria, the current restriction in movement due to the pandemic makes it a very good time for them to launch.

With the added benefit of allowing connection to internet content, the satellite TV platform may have a lot more to offer than initially meets the eye. Also by learning from the woes of TSTv, maybe OurTV could upset the balance in the market.


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