DStv vs Netflix – Movies, series, and sport

Due to the relatively high price of DStv, some subscribers have chosen to cut the cord and move to a purely Internet-based entertainment platform like Netflix.

This can save money if you do not have a fibre connection, but it can also be an effective way to cut down on spending if you already have an Internet connection.

Many users may be concerned about a potential loss or difference in content, and we have provided a basic outline of the content available on each platform below.

We compared only films and series available to watch at the time of writing, meaning we looked at whether a film or show was listed on the DStv Guide when classifying that show as available on the broadcasting platform.

Netflix has an innate advantage due to the instant availability of its entire library, while DStv instead broadcasts on a set schedule, with catch-up and other facilities being available depending on the customer’s package.

We used IMDb’s top-rated movies and series of all time to compare the rough content offering from both platforms, as these lists include significant variation in genre and release date.

This comparison does not comprehensively determine which platform has the best content offering. Instead, it shows which platform you would require a subscription to if you wished to watch a specific highly-rated show or movie.

The tables below also portray a rough distribution of content quantity for these top-rated shows – comparing Netflix’s library of content with the shows currently shown on DStv according to its Guide page.


Below the top-rated films of all time on IMDb which are available to watch on Netflix or DStv at the time of writing.

Films which were in the IMDb rankings but not available on either platform were excluded from the comparison.

The Godfather

Title IMDb Rating DStv Netflix
The Godfather 9.2
The Dark Knight 9.0
Schindler’s List 8.9
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King 8.9
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring 8.8
Inception 8.7
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers 8.7
The Matrix 8.6
Seven 8.6
The Green Mile 8.5
The Intouchables 8.5
Back to the Future 8.5
Whiplash 8.5
Raiders of the Lost Ark 8.5
Django Unchained 8.4
The Shining 8.4
Inglourious Basterds 8.3


Below the top-rated TV series of all time on IMDb which are available on Netflix or DStv at the time of writing.

Shows which were in the IMDb rankings but not available on either platform were excluded from the comparison.

Game of Thrones header

Title Seasons IMDb Rating DStv Netflix
Planet Earth II 2 9.5
Game of Thrones 8 9.4
Breaking Bad 5 9.4
Our Planet 1 9.3
Blue Planet II 1 9.2
Rick and Morty 3 9.2
Avatar: The Last Airbender 3 9.1
Sherlock 4 9.1
The Vietnam War 1 9.0
The Civil War 1 9.0
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood 5 9.0
Fargo 3 8.9
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver 6 8.9
Black Mirror 4 8.9
One Punch Man 1 8.8
Monty Python’s Flying Circus 4 8.8
Friends 10 8.8
Stranger Things 2 8.8
Arrested Development 5 8.8
Gravity Falls 2 8.8
Over the Garden Wall 1 8.8
Narcos 3 8.8
The Office 9 8.8
House of Cards 6 8.8
Peaky Blinders 4 8.8

The problem of sport

Netflix holds its own against DStv in terms of films and series, especially considering the number of original Netflix shows which have received great reviews.

If you are a sport fan however, it is essentially impossible to give up DStv entirely for Netflix in South Africa.

DStv is home to the majority of live sport broadcasts and sports shows in the country, while Netflix has only a few interesting sport-related documentaries.

This means that if you want to watch the rugby, golf, football, cricket, or one of many other live games, you will need to have a DStv subscription to do so.

If DStv were to lose licensing to major sports leagues however, this could very quickly result in more users leaving to view sports on other platforms and switching to less expensive services for entertainment – such as Netflix.


DStv Premium is the top package on the platform, with 142 channels, while Compact Plus is the second-best offering – including 124 channels.

A primary difference between the two is that Compact Plus does not include the following “high value” channels: SuperSport 1, 2, 5, and 6, M-Net, M-Net Movies Premiere, and Bloomberg.

DStv COmpact Plus is priced at R519 per month, while DStv Premium is priced at R809. Conversely, Netflix only costs R139 per month for the standard package R169 per month for a Premium account.

This means that if you already have an existing Internet connection, DStv is far more expensive than Netflix.

However, sports fans are essentially unable to switch completely to Netflix as unlike the top-rated films and series compared above, there is nowhere else to watch the best live sport in South Africa other than on DStv.

It should also be noted that access to the Showmax streaming service is often available as a free add-on or discounted bundle when purchasing a DStv package, adding extra value for users who enjoy watching online content on-demand.

Now read: Netflix takes on Showmax with more South African originals

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DStv vs Netflix – Movies, series, and sport