Stand-alone DStv on-demand TV series considered

Pay-TV operator MultiChoice has said that it is looking into offering television shows as a video on-demand (VOD) online service that would be open to anyone in South Africa.

DStv does currently offer a few types of on-demand services, but when it comes to TV series the on-demand option (DStv Catch Up) is limited to subscribers of DStv’s Premium bouquet (R665 per month + R75 per month PVR access fee).

MultiChoice does offer an online movie rental service called DStv BoxOffice, which is available to anyone in South Africa regardless of whether they’re one of DStv’s pay-TV subscribers or not.

Asked if it would launch a similar stand-alone VOD offering for series to complement BoxOffice, the CEO of DStv Digital Media, John Kotsaftis, said that they are looking at all options. “Certainly doing some sort of subscription service for non-subs is on the cards,” he said.

However, Kotsaftis stressed that the content on Catch Up comes well before any of the other services.

That’s because Hollywood releases TV series in certain windows, Kotsaftis said: from theatrical, to paid, to free, to subscription. The availability of content on a service like Catch Up can’t be made available on a stand-alone VOD platform because it’s exclusively related to broadcasting, Kotsaftis said.

To offer a Netflix, iTunes, or Vidi-like VOD service, MultiChoice could buy content, much like all the other players in the VOD market are doing with series such as Breaking Bad and other “classic” titles, Kotsaftis said. He added that MultiChoice could also offer content it produced on-demand.

“Certainly we are looking at that,” he said.

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Stand-alone DStv on-demand TV series considered