By Charles Ponuwei About a month ago, GOtv launched a new package called GOtv Lite. Described as “currently the most affordable pay-TV bouquet in Nigeria”, GOtv Lite targets existing subscribers, and gives those who opt-in access to over 20 channels. One interesting thing about the package is its alias, Small Pepper. The brand curators explain that they played on the use of ‘pepper’ as a slang for money. Small Pepper thus translating to small money, connoting the affordability of the package.
So how affordable is Small Pepper? The monthly subscription for GOtv Lite is N400. Subscribers are also given the option to pay N1,050 quarterly which works out to N350 a month or N3,100 yearly. The annual subscription also gives subscribers a further discount as it works out to N258.33 for one month. I did a little comparative analysis to find out what one can buy with N258 in present day Nigeria, especially when one considers the current devaluation of the Naira, and here’s what I came up with – a loaf of bread, GSM airtime, a bar of bathing soap or a packet of detergent. At the end of the exercise, I realised that the pricing of GOtv Lite essentially places pay-TV in the category as basic necessities, or what economists classify as essential goods. This is worthy of note because pay-TV is a discretionary service. In economics, a discretionary consumer good is a non-essential item such as entertainment, a vacation or car. They are purchased with excess income after other essentials such as food and shelter have been taken care of. Value for money Some subscribers have questioned the channel selection, saying that they do not see the value of the package because it carries majorly local channels. They say they will rather watch free-to-air using an antenna. To them, GOtv Lite would be an option if Africa Magic, Zee World and Telemundo were added to the bouquet, but that is debatable. For those consumers, the first and very fundamental value they will be missing is the better picture and sound quality which GOtv offers. I was at the drycleaner’s a few days ago and while waiting to be attended to, I was reminded of what watching on an analogue transmission feels like. The picture quality was deplorable although the TV was connected to an antenna booster. The TV was tuned to Wazobia TV (which is also available on GOtv) but the clarity of the pictures on analogue transmission cannot be compared to what you see on GOtv. For the first time since I became a pay-tv subscriber about four years ago, I appreciated the value which low-end services such as GOtv have added to the masses. Whilst still trying to come to terms with the poor picture quality on the TV, I saw a poster with a number requesting for suggestions on to how to improve service. I couldn’t hold back, so I sent a text advising the outlet to get on GOtv Lite – at least a N3100 annual subscription should be negligible to a Lagos-based dry-cleaning outfit. The second benefit of GOtv Lite are the international channels which have been strategically selected. And I say strategically because they target different viewing needs. There is JimJam which gives children access to cartoons. If you do not know anything about this channel, I believe you are familiar with Barney, one of the channel’s famous characters, which most children love. As Nigerian music takes centre stage, subscribers can enjoy the best of home grown music and sounds from across Africa on Afro Music Pop. Al Jazeera gives access to international news. e.TV Africa is a general entertainment channel showcasing Nollywood movies, series, talk shows, sports and news. I particularly find the ‘Did You Know’ segment on this channel very informative and a good source of current affairs for children. Emmanuel TV, Faith, and Islam channel offer religious programming and SuperSport Blitz, needs no introduction. For women who are hooked on Nollywood and Bollywood series or telenovelas, they will find similar content on Galaxy TV, ONtv Max and TVC Entertainment. Given the current economic recession, I believe that the launch of GOtv is timely and I would recommend it to anyone who is feeling the bite of the harsh economy.