High prices are killing DStv Premium

MultiChoice released its annual results for the year ended 31 March 2019, which revealed a significant decline in DStv Premium subscribers.

While MultiChoice did not want to say how many DStv Premium subscribers it lost, it admitted that its top segment was suffering due to competition and a difficult economy.

This is not the first time the DStv Premium subscriber base has declined. In fact, subscriber numbers in this segment have been declining since 2015.

Even a DStv Premium price freeze in 2019 could not stop the trend of subscribers from cancelling their service.

The company previously blamed competition from Netflix as the main reason for this decline, but has now added tough economic conditions and affordability to the mix.

MultiChoice CFO Tim Jacobs told MyBroadband that the affordability of DStv Premium is a problem, especially when South African consumers are under pressure.

The simple truth is that many DStv Premium subscribers are tired of paying R809 per month for the service, and on top of that be charged another R95 per month to use PVR functionality.

Uncapped broadband and Netflix a better deal

Many South Africans dumped their DStv Premium subscription in favour of an uncapped broadband subscription with Netflix.

Uncapped Fibre and DSL and high-capped LTE services are now available in many areas across the country, with the price of an uncapped 10Mbps service dropping to below R700.

This means that South Africans can buy an uncapped fibre-to-the-home service with a Netflix subscription for much less than a DStv Premium service.

Considering that many middle-class households have a broadband connection anyway, adding Netflix to the mix and cancelling their DStv Premium subscription becomes very easy.

The table below provides a pricing comparison between DStv Premium and a Netflix and uncapped broadband solution.

DStv Premium versus Netflix
Service Price Access Fee Total Monthly Price
Netflix Basic R99 R99
Netflix Standard R139 R139
Netflix Premium R169 R169
DStv Premium R809 R95 R904
DStv Premium versus Netflix and Uncapped Broadband
Service Price Uncapped Fibre Total Monthly Price
Netflix Basic and 10Mbps FTTH R99 R647 R746
Netflix Standard and 10Mbps FTTH R139 R647 R786
Netflix Premium and 10Mbps FTTH R169 R647 R816
DStv Premium R809 R95 (Access Fee) R904

Now read: DStv Premium is struggling in South Africa

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High prices are killing DStv Premium