By Ali Twaha
MultiChoice has notified it customers that they will pay more for all its bouquets and its premium package on Dstv next month, September.
In a notice, the firm linked the planned increment in fees to worsening economic conditions and a peak in inflation rates in the country.
“Please note that due to consumer inflation and current economic pressures facing Uganda, we are revising our prices effective September 1, 2022,” MultiChoice said.
For instance, the subscription for Dstv Premium has shot up by 6.6% to sh255,000, Dstv Family will increase by 7%, and Dstv Access by 5.4%, among others.
On the other hand, GOtv – which offers some of the cheapest bouquets for low-income earners – will see a 7.6% increase to sh14,000. GOtv max will increase from sh42,000 to 45,000.
The July Consumer Price Index released by the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) on July 29, shows that annual headline inflation rose to 7.9% in July from 6.8% posted in June 2022.
The spike in global commodities prices at the back of supply-demand imbalances that were caused by the COVID-19 pandemic-related disruptions in global supply chains and heightened by the Ukraine conflict are the main underlying sources of the price pressures.
The price hike is also linked to the depreciation of the local currency against the dollar since Pay TV is a dollar-based import company.
The volatility of the shilling-dollar exchange rate deepened on a depreciation path in May 2022 and was the highest in the East African Community region.
This was at the back of bearish sentiments occasioned by tightening of monetary policy by the US Federal Reserve and other advanced economies’ central banks, leading to offshore investors adjusting their portfolio holdings in Uganda.
In addition, the deteriorating terms of trade that have caused the demand for dollars to increase amongst the energy companies and other importers have also added to the pressure.
Last week, the local unit remained on the back foot, inching towards the 3900 level as offshore investors’ appetite for the dollars intensified.