DStv recently announced that it would cut three popular channels from its network at the end of October – History, Crime + Investigation, and Lifetime.
These three channels have been available to DStv Premium and DStv Compact Plus subscribers for years.
The contract term for these channels, which are all provided by the American broadcasting company A&E Networks, ends on 1 November 2019.
MultiChoice’s senior manager for corporate communications, Benedict Maaga told MyBroadband the decision formed part of a plan to refresh the DStv line-up.
He said the fact that the contract term for these three channels came to an end gave MultiChoice an opportunity to evaluate the value it offers subscribers.
MultiChoice said in a statement that it is continuously reviewing its content lineup and channel selection to improve its entertainment offering.
“This process includes ongoing engagement with various content partners to ensure we can provide more compelling content offerings for customers.”
Negotiations broke down – report
Independent TV expert Thinus Ferreira reported that the real reason for the decision is that negotiations between A&E Networks and MultiChoice broke down.
According to Ferreira, channel carriage contract renewal negotiations between the two parties “turned ugly and broke down”.
A&E Networks said in a statement that South African fans of its channels “could soon miss out on the thousands of hours of new and unique shows”.
“This includes current and upcoming local programming such as Crime Stories SA, Don’t Tell the Bride SA and Loved Like Crazy,” A&E Networks said.
The company added that it has been very proactive in trying to reach an agreement that is best for its viewers and for DStv.
“Our goal is to continue to bring our high-quality, award-winning programming to our local audiences,” A&E Networks said.
It added that it is willing to keep negotiations open. “We sincerely hope DStv will find a way to work with us to keep our channels on its platform,” the company said.
As part of its announcement about cutting the History, Crime + Investigation, and Lifetime channels, MultiChoice said it will soon announce two new channels.
These two channels, the pay-TV operator said, include “an established global brand and a new innovative brand”.
“Both channels will bring exciting new titles and genres that viewers will really enjoy, including blue-chip documentaries, history, and factual reality shows,” MultiChoice said.
The company added that it continues to increase its investment in local shows and content, which it said “have great resonance with customers and are a key driver of engagement”.