How the pandemic revealed the most sport friendly and valuable pay-TV platform in Nigeria

Access to content is an essential aspect of sports content consumption for fans of various sports worldwide.

How the pandemic revealed the most sport friendly and valuable pay-TV platform in Nigeria

The pandemic showed us all why sports will always be essential, with football leagues across Europe and the NBA returning as soon as there was a little breathing space from the pandemic last year. The fans naturally influenced that decision for these sporting events to return, and the government was also eager to keep people engaged during the lockdown.

Project restart, an action plan for the return of football in the UK, kicked off in June, a month before the Bundesliga had returned, while the NBA also returned to action in July. The catch, however, was that fans were not going to be allowed into the stadiums and the arenas. As much as this wasn't great news for fans, they understood that it was in their interest.

But before then, DStv, the leading pay-tv in Nigeria, was doing quite an excellent job in keeping its sports subscribers engaged. With the shortage of live sports content at the time, SuperSport, DStv's dedicated sports channel, focused on the best historical sporting moments and fascinating documentaries that brought back good memories from some of the best sporting events across the globe. In May, at the peak of the pandemic and a month before project restart, DStv opened up SuperSport Relive for a look at the history of the European Championships, with 12 back-to-back episodes of UEFA Euro Official story (from 07:30 am to 7:30 pm).

It was 12 hours daily of memories of past games in the Euros from the 1960s to Spain's victory at Euro 2012. Fans were also able to relive the 2018 World Cup in Russia on DStv. The 2011/2012 Manchester derby and the El Classico between Real Madrid and Barcelona also made up for a fantastic line up of sports content to review during the period coupled with a focus on boxing (Mike Tyson's rise to the heavyweight category was a fantastic piece of content to relive), highlights of the 2012 Open Golf Championship was among the lineup while a documentary on George Best, one of the best players to ever step on the football pitch completed a fantastic lineup in May.

Fans were not bored for a minute before project restart finally kicked off because DStv kept them engaged. On a personal note, I realized how important and valuable DStv is to me during this period. SuperSports, to be specific. I have always grumbled about how much I pay for cable TV, but I still pay anyway because I can't do without sports, it's a part of me, and I won't be me without sports.

But away from my passion, I did a critical analysis of how much I was paying and compared to the content I was enjoying and also compared to what other platforms were offering. I spoke to a few friends about this, and many were bored; there was little or no sports content for them to watch during the lockdown, a couple of them had Startimes because Startimes is perceived as cheap, which is true, but many of them complained that they weren't enjoying the best of content as I was. My answer to them was, "We are not paying the same amount of money." Which was a fair answer but then again, I remembered most of them always saying, "Startimes is not broadcasting this game, they are not broadcasting that fight," etc. That was when the concept of value truly kicked in.

I enjoy all the sports content I love for #18,400 monthly, and I have full access to the EPL, La Liga, Serie A, UEFA Champions League, UFC, Tennis, and so on. There are some months where I can only afford to pay for Compact Plus at 12,400, and I still get access to all the sports content I love. The other channels that I don't have access to don't need them since I just want sports content.

However, I found out through my friends that the Premier League, which is the most popular and most-watched league in the world, is not available on Startimes, neither is the UEFA Champions League. What they do have access to, though, is the Europa League (second tier of European football) which I am less interested in, they also broadcast the FA Cup, but DStv does the same.

I found out that I wouldn't be helping myself if I decided to go for the cheaper Startimes because there is a wide gulf in terms of content between both platforms and if I genuinely want to enjoy sports without barriers, I am better off on DStv.

By the time live sports returned in June through project restart and the NBA in July, i didn't feel starved of sports content; DStv made sure of that through all the past sporting moments I relived, and although live sports gave me a different type of excitement, I was grateful that I had DStv during the lockdown. My friends, on the other hand, were bored and livid. That was when I realized the value I was getting from my subscription and when I concluded that DStv is the most sports-friendly pay-tv platform in Nigeria.

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Authored by Anthony Itua

*This is a featured post.

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