Cell C’s Black is the newest player on the entertainment block.
Black offers live TV channels, subscription video-on-demand, and movie and series rentals and purchases, making it a proper Internet TV contender.
Its live channels feature properties from Fox, Sony, CBS Reality, BBC, and Bloomberg, along with sports channels.
Black’s BINGE packages are the top offerings, and if it wants to compete with the likes of DStv and Netflix, these packages will be its contenders.
To see how they stack up, a comparison of Black versus DStv Compact, Compact Plus, and Family is detailed below.
Entertainment and Sport
DStv Compact Plus features 41 movie and entertainment channels, while both services offer Fox, Fox Life, Sony, Sony Max, CBS Reality, and TCM.
DStv has Fox in HD, while Black offers it in standard definition at the moment. Black’s standard BINGE packages also do not feature Fox channels by default, they are available in a separate R99-per-month bundle.
Fox HD is also available on DStv Compact, while DStv Family only has Fox Life.
Black’s BINGE plans offer five channels DStv doesn’t have, including African Movies and Series channels, and True Movies.
DStv has 35 entertainment channels Black doesn’t have, including M-Net channels, AfricaMagic channels, Mzansi channels, and KykNET channels. DStv Compact Plus also offers Comedy Central.
DStv Compact Plus also offers 10 documentary channels Black doesn’t have including, History, Animal Planet, and BBC Lifestyle.
For kids channels, the two services share JimJam. DStv Compact Plus has nine channels including Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon, while Black’s packages have five kids channels.
DStv Compact and Compact Plus also include a solid selection of sports channels, including live Premier League and local PSL football matches.
Black’s BINGE Premium Plus package includes subscriptions to individual Premier League football club channels, such as MUTV and Chelsea TV. The Fox bundle also includes Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports 2.
The table below summarises the sports channels available on the DStv and Black packages.
|DStv Compact Plus only||BINGE Premium Plus only|
|SuperSport 7 HD (207)||MUTV HD (403)|
|SuperSport 8 (208)||Chelsea TV HD (404)|
|DStv Compact and up||Barca TV HD (406)|
|SuperSport 3 HD (203)||Real Madrid TV HD (407)|
|SuperSport 4 HD (204)||LFC TV HD (405)|
|SuperSport 9 (209)||BINGE / BTV Premium and up|
|Ginx eSports (240)||Trace Sports Stars HD (410)|
|DStv Family and up||Extreme Sports PE (411)|
|SuperSport Blitz (200)||E Sports TV HD (412)|
|SuperSport 10 (210)||Game Toonbox HD (413)|
|TeleTrack (239)||Motorvision HD (414)|
|Nautical HD (415)|
|Outdoor Channel HD (416)|
|Havoc TV HD (418)|
|Fightbox HD (419)|
|Fast and FunBox HD (420)|
DStv and Black offer BBC World News, Al Jazeera, Russia Today, and Deutsche Welle.
Black also has Bloomberg HD, which is only available on DStv’s Premium package. The Fox bundle also includes Fox News.
The table below summarises the news channels available on the packages.
|DStv Compact Plus only||BINGE/BTV Premium and up|
|Deutsche Welle (446)||Deutsche Welle (506)|
|Sky News (402)||Bloomberg HD (511)|
|DStv Compact and up||BBC World News (501)|
|CNN (401)||Al Jazeera (503)|
|DStv Family and up||Russia Today (509)|
|BBC World News (400)||Euronews (504)|
|Al Jazeera (406)||Africanews (505)|
|Russia Today (407)||France 24 (507)|
|Sky News (402)|
|SABC News (404)|
|Parliamentary Service (408)|
|Business Day TV (412)|
|NDTV 24X7 (413)|
Video on demand
Black has more on-demand content than DStv over the platforms compared.
Black lists 130 seasons of TV shows on its website, and after compensating for duplicates, it currently offers between 550 and 700 films for streaming.
MultiChoice’s on-demand services are split into three categories: DStv Catch Up, DStv Catch Up Plus, and Catch Up on DStv Now.
The full catalogue of content offered on Catch Up Plus via the Explora decoder and Catch Up on DStv Now features over 2,500 hours of entertainment.
Series make up around 506 hours of this content. When you include sport and kids videos, you get approximately 576 hours of content. The rest is made up of movies, such as the M-Net Movies library – which contains up to 1,000 movies.
The Catch Up Plus service, including Catch Up on DStv Now, is only available to DStv Premium subscribers, however.
DStv Compact Plus and Compact subscribers have access to the standard Catch Up service with their PVR-capable decoder.
The number of titles on Catch Up varies monthly, but MultiChoice said there is always at least 180 hours of content available.
The table below summarises the pricing and features of the packages.
DStv prices exclude the dish and installation fee, and Black prices exclude the cost of data.
|Packages||Monthly fee||Decoder/STB||Channels||Video on-demand|
|DStv Compact Plus||R574||R1,499||120||180 hours|
|Black BINGE Premium Plus + Fox||R488||R1,499||54||±700 titles|
|DStv Compact||R450||R1,499||100||180 hours|
|Black BINGE Premium Plus||R389||R1,499||46||±700 titles|
|DStv Family||R320||R1,499||77||180 hours|
|Black BINGE Premium||R279||R1,499||41||±700 titles|
|DStv fee includes Access Fee for PVR and Catch Up.|