Multichoice withdraws from Malawi

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South African’s Multichoice, which owns and operates satellite pay TV service DSTV, has withdrawn from Malawi after a court barred its local franchise from increasing prices.

The withdrawal of services from Malawi marks the end of a hostile relationship between Multichoice and the regulator.

Last month, Multichoice Malawi announced an increase in DSTV prices, but the Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) acquired a temporary court injunction preventing the hike from going through.

MultiChoice Malawi responded by obtaining a temporary stay of the injunction.

Multichoice said no new subscriptions or reconnections will be accepted and it would only continue serving clients with active subscriptions until 10 September.

Meanwhile, Malawi’s media campaigner Daniel Nyorongo says this development is sad for Malawians, tourists and the hospitality sector.

“Malawi will not have this product that tourists and visitors to hotels, lodges, resorts would wish to enjoy watching so in that regard it is a sad development. However, we should also be mindful and accept that indeed the cost of DSTV has been very expensive. It would be ideal if Macra and Multichoice Malawi and Multichoice Africa reached a consensus.”