Tech South African agency penalizes DStv for promoting repeats as new movies

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The pay TV giant got on the wrong side of the law

MutiChoice Kenya Managing Director Eric Odipo and Telkom Kenya Chief Executive Officer Aldo Mareuse exchange their a decoder and a mobile wifi during the launch of DStv Na Internet offer. play

MutiChoice Kenya Managing Director Eric Odipo and Telkom Kenya Chief Executive Officer Aldo Mareuse exchange their a decoder and a mobile wifi during the launch of DStv Na Internet offer.

(capitalfm)
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Africa’s leading pay-tv operator, DStv, has been ordered to discontinue airing some programmes by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) after a customer complained about manipulative advertising.

Complainant Alison Job told the advertising watchdog that the advertising of a new season of‘Doc Martin’ which was already available on the bouquet offerings by the company  was wrong. 

Multichoice Company in their defence stated that the show “Mom” had been previously aired on M-Net, and the promotion was only announcing its airing on  Comedy Central‚ where it was featuring for the first time.

It said that to many viewers and subscribers without a Premium Dstv package it was indeed “brand new”.

The Judgment against DStv

According to the ASA in its rulings, it stated that  ‘Mom’ is “an old content that is being repeated for the umpteenth time”.

Multichoice explains reasons for repeats of programs play

Multichoice explains reasons for repeats of programs

(Multichoice)

Also Read: How the real threat to DStv and GOTV in Africa is Kwesé Tv not TSTV

“One would not expect the label ‘brand new’ to be applied to a show that has been available in South Africa since 2013,” the watchdog agency remarked.

“In the second place‚ the claim makes no reference to the channel. The words ‘only on [Comedy Central]’ further aggravate the matter. By making this statement the implication is that this is the only channel to ever air this ‘brand new’ season.

“In fact‚ these old seasons have been aired on at least one other channel‚ if not more. They are also‚ most likely‚ available as DVDs.”

The ASA ordered DStv to withdraw the claim that “Mom” was new.

Repeating and promoting old content is one offence of DStv across Africa

High frequency of promoting and airing repeated content has been one offence many subscribers of DStv or GOtv – both operated by Multichoice, can easily relate with.

Also Read: Kwesé TV launches in Kenya to take on DStv, GOtv, as TStv poses similar challenge in Nigeria

Subscribers in Nigeria have taken to social media many times to complain about this practice .

Some of the new movies/contents have been previously aired. play

Some of the new movies/contents have been previously aired.

(Multichoice)

A Zambian subscriber, Solomon Kimmie, wrote a letter to Multichoice in 2016 and he raised the issue of programs rerun/repeats as a major practice of DStv/GOtv in the country.

“My name is Solomon Kimmie using DSTV account number 4273582861. Kindly look into my complaint laid against DSTV/ Multichoice Zambia with regards to their services/ content to its Zambian subscribers.”

“…Not forgetting the fact that we pay for repeats. We are subjected to reruns/repeats. I carried out my own brief channel survey. Each channel has no less than 2 repeats per day x 30 days. WOW   is staggering. They must be making a massively save venture with the repeats. Again if we had to analyze each channel with the number of repeats, definitely get a shock. Mind you these repeats can go on for months.”

The company also admitted to  this during a press conference held in Cape Town on December 6, 2016. The General Manager, Content for MultiChoice - Aletta Alberts, said: "We want to say to customers we've heard you and we are making changes."

“It's not like repeats will go away but in general we are improving our product dramatically. One of the key issues over the years is that repeats have been at the forefront of our challenges.”