DStv is developing a streaming-only version of the service, MultiChoice South Africa CEO Calvo Mawela told MyBroadband.
This comes after MultiChoice CEO Mark Rayner said at the start of 2017 that DStv will definitely have a streaming service in the future – the only question was when.
Mawela said they have taken significant strides towards offering a streaming-only package, but there are obstacles to overcome.
He said their biggest obstacle was not sports broadcasting rights, but securing the streaming rights for all the entertainment content they offer on their existing DStv packages.
MultiChoice was able to secure the last of these rights in 2018, making it possible for DStv Now to offer live streaming of every channel included in the DStv Premium package.
DStv Now is an app available on Android and iOS, and via a web browser, which lets DStv subscribers view their package’s respective content online.
Mawela said it is clear the future is in online streaming and on-demand video.
Where MultiChoice lost over 100,000 DStv Premium subscribers during the last financial year, Netflix recently announced it added 7.41 million subscribers during its last quarter – growing to 125 million subscribers globally.
Although DStv is still showing good growth in its lower-tier packages – like DStv Access – Mawela said its cheaper services operate on much thinner margins.
Its biggest profits come from more expensive packages like DStv Premium and DStv Compact, he said.
Through initiatives like DStv Now and Showmax, its answer to Netflix, MultiChoice has tried to ensure it is ready for the evolution of the subscription TV space.
Regarding launch timeframes, Mawela said their standalone streaming package is still a work in progress.
The company is waiting for DStv’s digital media division to come up with a full commercial plan for the service, along with an activation date, he said.