Ever heard of the term Pay per view event? What bout a Kenyan Pay Per View event? If No then continue reading. Ever since Kenya migrated to the digital platform, we have seen a lot of benefits the major ones being clearer picture quality and increased number of channels. But the biggest beneficiaries of the digital migration are the Pay TV companies that saw a sharp rise in subscribers. But none of the Pay TV companies are reaping the full benefits of Pay Per View programming. That is because they do not sell pay per view events.
What is a pay per view event?
A pay per view event is basically what the term means, “you pay per view”. A pay per view event is a rare live event that attracts a lot of viewers during a limited period. A good example is the World Cup Finals or a boxing match. Remember the Manny Vs Mayweather boxing match? That is a perfect example of a pay per view event. WWE WrestlemMania, Royal Rumble, Summerslam and others are also good examples of PPV events.
All the examples above are of rare Television events that do not occur weekly like a TV series plus the important part is that all events are usually live. So movies are not pay per view events.
Advantages of PPV events
The major advantage of pay per view events is that the seller usually records a higher than normal income surge. The consumer or viewer on the other side gets to watch the event in the comfort of his/her home and pay an amount that is usually less than the live event ticket.
How PPV events work
- Seller (Broadcaster or TV company) advertises a PPV event in advance and also lists the exact channel and local time the event will be available.
- Viewers pay upfront for the event
- During the pay per view event, the seller scrambles the signal on all viewers except those that bought the event.
- Pay per view ends and everybody is happy
- Pay per view repeats may happen after a preset time. For example a full repeat after every two hours after the event ends. But by this time news of the outcome will be on almost every news station and website. The torrent geeks will have recorded the whole program and uploaded it to the internet for all of us to download.
- As a result pay per view sales after the live event are low but the repeats are important for those guys who were not at home during the event.
Future examples of a Kenyan Pay per view events
It’s no secret that a lot of people pay Dstv just to watch football. Even when Dstv increases their monthly charges, subscribers still pay primarily because they love to watch international soccer matches. So this is what Dstv could do, make the important games like the finals or the determining matches into PPV events. You know exactly what I mean by determining game, you football buff. Would you pay for a PPV event involving local football teams? What about Rugby?
I am not a football fan but I would pay for any rally or automotive event like the KCB rally or the Rhino Ark Charge, do they hold those nowadays? Provided the price is not too high, I am willing to pay. What about live performances? I would pay to watch the whole Churchill show, raw uncut and unedited on pay per view. That’s something the organizers should consider. They could charge like Ksh100 (1USD) for the whole live event. Maybe they can even pay their actors better with this new revenue source.
What about Political parties? The possibilities are endless
Let me throw Dstv customers under the bus
Believe me Dstv has those types of customers that will complain of high prices and still pay. So this is how it would go. A normal subscription of Ksh9400 (USD94) will still remain unchanged but that important game (like the determining game or “game kubwa”) will be a pay per view event of Ksh2500 (USD25). If a subscriber wont pay, then he/she is locked out of the event. No chills!
And lastly Bamba TV
Bamba TV has the means to start selling channels for pay per view events. They have a decoder that resembles Pay TV but provides channels for free. With facilities like transmitters, broadcasting infrastructure and trained staff, Bamba TV can create a whole new revenue source by assisting clients carry out pay per view events.
So will Kenyan media companies embrace PPV or will we go straight to online streaming services that are currently replacing traditional ppv events like Netflix and WWE Network? My guess is that Kenya is too young for online streaming services plus the cost of internet connectivity is too high.
What other example of Kenyan pay per view event would you be willing to pay for?