Expect a big DStv price hike in April

The dramatic decline in the value of the rand will have had a tremendous impact on MultiChoice’s DStv.

By - February 1, 2016 Share on LinkedIn
DStv logo

The tremendous weakening of the rand over the past year, and particularly the past two months, will have a big impact on MultiChoice and DStv.

“We purchase most of our international programming in foreign currency – exchange rates therefore have a big impact on our business,” the company told MyBroadband.

Since 2015, the rand has lost over 30% of its value against the US Dollar – with 13% of that value lost in the last two months.

The rand’s decline accelerated in December when President Jacob Zuma decided to remove finance minister Nhlanhla Nene and replace him with David van Rooyen.

ZAR-USD exchange rate Jan15-Jan16

By 10 December, the rand had broken through R15 per dollar, on 7 January it went through R16 per dollar, and on 11 January it slumped to its lowest level ever – R17.99.

Since then, the rand has been trading at between R16-R17 per dollar, briefly dipping below R16 on 1 February.

Price hikes imminent

Unless our local currency strengthens dramatically, it could spell bad news for DStv subscribers.

As the graph below shows, programming and production costs at MultiChoice increase every year.

The company spent R12 billion on content during its April – March 2015/16 financial year, and another R5.8 billion in the six months between April and September 2015.

A recent report in the Daily Mail said that SuperSport paid £296 million (around R6 billion at the time) for the 2016-19 Barclays Premier League broadcast rights for sub-Saharan Africa.

MultiChoice 2016 interim programming and production costs

Annual price increase

MultiChoice announces DStv price adjustments annually, with the increase in fees of its DStv Premium package usually remaining below the Consumer Price Index.

With inflation expected to be around 7% and rand devaluing by more than 30% in the past year, keeping DStv’s 2016 price increase in check will be no easy task.

“While we continue to ensure that we minimise the impact on our customers, we are constantly reviewing the situation,” said MultiChoice about a potential larger-than-normal increase in 2016.

DStv’s new prices will be announced at the end of February, and will come into effect on 1 April.

DStv prices versus inflation

DStv prices from 2000 to 2015

The rand could fall to R19/$ – economist

Expect some ISP price increases because of weak rand

Weak rand has big impact on DStv

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