A declining subscriber base has forced Pay-Television service provider, MultiChoice Zimbabwe to implement a voluntary retrenchment programme.
“Due to the current economic challenges facing Zimbabwe, Skynet has undertaken a comprehensive business evaluation in order to remain sustainable.
“The difficult decision to reduce its operating costs will include the offer of voluntary employee retrenchments,” said MultiChoice Zimbabwe communications executive Elizabeth Dziva.
The voluntary retrenchment programme is the latest in moves by the group to streamline its business as subscriber revenues have hit an all-time low due to a difficult economic operating environment.
In a notice to employers on the voluntary retrenchment, the company highlighted that employee downsizing was “inevitable”.
“We have tried to manage and reduce our costs to the bone. We stopped all contract employees, reduced working hours, strict usage of company vehicles among other measures.
“However, our subscriber numbers have reduced to the numbers we were back in 2010. The decline subsists with an adverse trend beyond our control and it appears we are delaying the inevitable.
“MultiChoice mainly depends on subscriber revenue and in turn Ally Property Investments (Pvt) Limited depends on rentals from tenants who are not spared by the economic challenges and Skynet (Pvt) Limited is their major client,” said the company.
Zimbabwe’s Pay TV space has been hit hard by economic challenges.
Only last week, Econet Media’s pan-African satellite TV service Kwesé TV shut down, with parent company Econet Wireless attributing this to difficulties in securing foreign currency to pay content suppliers.
“We regret to announce the discontinuation of the Kwesé TV Satellite Service with effect from August 5, 2019. The service was offered to our customers by our sister company Econet Media.
“We regret to end this service, which thousands of Zimbabweans had embraced and welcomed into their homes and offices as a viable, alternative source of news, sport and entertainment. The third party content providers, on whose content we rely, require payment in foreign currency.
“With the prevailing economic conditions in Zimbabwe and the current business operating environment — characterised by an acute shortage of foreign currency — sustaining Kwesé and the Kwesé Satellite Service was no longer viable,” said Econet Wireless.