Pay TV competition in Malawi to benefit consumers, no more Multichoice monopoly

For the first time in Malawi there is competition in pay TV because of the coming in of Zuku TV in June last year, and in January this year StarSat TV also started operating in Lilongwe shaking the pay TV giant MultiChoice that has been operating alone in the industry since it came to Malawi in 1998 even before MBC TV was established.

Zuku agents promoting their products along Chilambula Road in Lilongwe

Zuku agents promoting their products along Chilambula Road in Lilongwe

Multichoice sign on the left and Zuku promotion along Chilambula Road in Lilongwe

Multichoice sign on the left and Zuku promotion along Chilambula Road in Lilongwe

However, MultiChoice Malawi said it welcomes the coming in of other Pay television providers in the Malawi market as this provides consumers choice.

“MultiChoice Malawi welcomes the advent of new Pay tv providers in the Malawi market as this provides consumers choice as well as a basis to compare the high quality and diversity of the various MultiChoice packages which start from as little as MK 3000 per month with other offerings,” commented MultiChoice in an email response to Lilongwe News Agency questionnaire.

The company explained further: “Competition may contribute to the diversification of economies, the growth of local production industries and a pluralism of services for consumers. Ultimately, television viewers may benefit through the additional volume and variety of content that will be distributed by the various operators in the market.”

Rival pay TV, Zuku, headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, and started operating in Malawi last year, said business has been growing steadily since they came to Malawi and that they offer a variety of programming at very low cost.

Richard Alden, Zuku Chief Executive Officer (CEO) said in an email: “The Zuku brand has had a steady growth of its subscriber numbers in Malawi. We are strong in terms of brand and have a presence in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi and Zambia.

“Our pricing model is low as well as having low installation costs, we have more channels at reasonable prices and in terms of content, we are very strong Asian package-only provider offering exciting programmes, we therefore have a platform that offers viewers with an array of viewing opportunities in movies, African soaps, and kids programming. These world-class-channels are offered to customers at a very affordable price.”

On live matches where some customers say MultiChoice is doing well, Alden said: Most people ask for the English Premier League (EPL), unfortunately this has been lock to one pay TV provider in Africa for many years. We hope to secure the rights to air these matches and are petitioning various bodies for the rights.”

Zuku said while they are fighting for English Premier League rights, they have launched other sports channels.

“However, we have launched other channels for our viewers such as the MCS International which is a sports channel from France that brings exclusive premium sport content including football (MLS – US league), Russian League, French National league, Everton TV, Chelsea TV, Barça TV, Bayern TV, Marseille TV, Juventus Channel, Milan Channel), basketball, volleyball, tennis and golf,” explained Zuku TV CEO.

Zuku said their low prices are key for their success, and in terms of content, Zuku TV has over 100 channels on the Zuku Satellite platform which are developed to resonate with the African audience.

On the developments and plans they have for their Malawi audience, MultiChoice said they pride themselves on staying at the leading edge of technology.

“The products that MultiChoice offers utilise world class technologies. Recently, we launched a product called the DStv Explora, which is a PVR product similar to the America Tivo box but much more advanced. This particular product has significant future possibilities and we will continue to expand its usage. The DStv Explora sets the platform for a lot of interesting features such as Box Office and Catch Up,” explained MultiChoice.

Premier bouquet for Zuku TV with over a hundred channels is at MK8, 500 while premier bouquet for MultiChoice is MK36, 000. Both providers have other low cost bouquets – LINA

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17 thoughts on “Pay TV competition in Malawi to benefit consumers, no more Multichoice monopoly”

  1. ASAAAAAAA….MULTITHIEVES PLEASE LET US PAY ACCORDING TO VIEWING TIME.WE WATCH TV FOR 2 TO 3 HRS A DAY….MOST OF US AND WE PAY 40 THOU?

  2. TheTechGuy says:

    Patiently waiting for ZUKU FIBER!

  3. boko harram says:

    Chonde tv yanga ya mbc sikuonetsa chonde ndithandizeni kuno Ku south Africa ndingaike firikwezi number iti?

  4. master says:

    ZUKU has chnaged my life very affordable, very educative and above all cheaper than DSTV thieves, muyisova, mumawona ngati mulipo nokha zanu izo, ife tiliphe ndi ZUKU keep it up guys

  5. Mbolo Sidwala! says:

    K8,500 vs K36,000? What is the justification? Kubera ma kasitomala basi. Tikuthawanitu, ngati simusamala!

  6. nyayo says:

    Let the consumers judge. If I buy free to air decoder I don’t access the channels on Zuku. To this end I don’t agree with the assertion that Zuku are thieves. 8,000 is cheaper to me as compared to 36,000. If it were free, one has to consider administrative costs. Bravo, Zuku. The channels on Zuku are educative.

  7. Moni says:

    If they were free, why didn’t we have them on free to air? Mwasowa chonama eti, anthu ansanje zikukuwawani kuti Zuku yabweretsa zabwino mosabera a Malawi. I bought my Zuku decorder late May 2014 and am enjoying it than I did with DStv which charges in US$. I used to pay K12,000-13,000 for only four Indian Channels. But since I bought Zuku TV I’m paying only K5,000 for 23 Indian channels. And you try to tarnish this affordable TV company by claiming that their channels are free? You must be joking! Mpaka kufika potinyoza kuti ndi ife mbuli? Mumationera a Malawife m’botolo eti, inu kuchenjera kwake kuli pati? Mwinanso inu ndi amene mukuwonetsa umbuli. Enafe tinayamba kukhala ndi DStv mu July 1998, tikuonera channel O yaulere, Inu munali ndi tv nthawi imeneyo, kuyamba kwa Series yaulere 1999 munalipo inu? Musadzayambirenso kutinena a Malawi kuti ndife mbuli mwamva?

  8. Karo gaii says:

    Come on zuku.do fast bming EPL.DSTV atibera kwakwana.mbava izo!

  9. kkkk you guys musandiseketse. These multichoice people they do hve differeny prices according to the country they are operating in. All those chanels that you are paying for on ZUKU (whatever you call it) are completely free but u guys you said they are cheap they are realy ripping u off. Myself i have 116 free chanels includingy dstv compact. Its true Malawians we still sleeping instead of discussing this topic here now you are into politics. Umbuli kapena chani?

  10. Hoitty says:

    Why does multichoice charge same bouqets differently from south Africa. Kubwere agent azilembesa anthu omwe akufuna kukhala pa multichoice south Africa. Akhaula mbava za Malawi amenewa. Ndipo DSTV kubwereza ma program nde kudya kwao. Watching same programs since 2001 ku nat geo, zone reality, crime, BUY new prigrams you thieves

  11. NKHWANTHA says:

    multchoice you are thieves come and collect your decoders pliz we want to try you freinds
    Multichoice you are day light robbers

  12. Ask says:

    Multichoice Is So Expensive.
    We Sincere Beg Them Reduce Their Prices.
    Their Lowest Bouquet Is K4957.37 & Not K3000 As Stated.

  13. Jona says:

    The greatest competitor for multichoice Malawi is Multi choice SA, that’s what Malawians are watching at the moment. SA compact bouquet with super sport 3 is @ K12,000, Malawi’s compact plus that has supersport3A is @ K28000. Multichoice Malawi are daylight thieves

  14. PIERRE says:

    Mkunthamasese ndiwe ofoyra,atcheya adadyela azao masuku pamutu kapena n’ngakuba kwa amene anamangibwa aja.he has a case to answer in heaven

  15. nkunthamasese says:

    chair ndi amuna. dstv tvm mbc radio 1 joy twr zodiak name them ndi a chair tu anabweretsa muno mmalawi tiri mtulo chair woyeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

    1. tapi says:

      Sizikugwirizana kapolo iwe..

  16. Chief says:

    Zuku is ripping us.its a fraud. The channels are meant to be free.Tionana chaka chino chikamatha.

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