DStv holds a monopoly on paid satellite TV services in South Africa, with its competition unable to compete with its extensive range of channels and sports broadcasting rights.
However, the rise of online streaming services coupled with ever-reducing Internet prices means that DStv now has significant competition in the video content market.
Globally dominant streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, as well as local offerings including Showmax and Video Play, all offer viable alternatives to DStv’s product.
While these streaming services continue to rise in popularity in South Africa, DStv has experienced issues with live streaming online, as well as dropping channels from its satellite lineup.
Most recently, DStv cut the History, Crime + Investigation, and Lifetime channels from its lineup.
MultiChoice said that this decision forms part of its “ongoing efforts to refresh our content lineup”.
“We are continuously reviewing our content line-up and channel selection to improve our entertainment offering to our customers,” said MultiChoice.
“This process includes ongoing engagement with various content partners to ensure we can provide more compelling content offerings for customers.”
DStv Now, the streaming portion of DStv’s product offering, also recently suffered issues when broadcasting the Rugby World Cup
MultiChoice said that all subscribers who were logged in ahead of the start of the match were able to view the game without issues.
However, due to a high influx of fresh logins on the platform, there was a substantial delay for users trying to access the platform during the matches.
DStv Premium has lost subscribers due to its monthly pricing, which reaches upwards of R900 per month.
In contrast, streaming services usually range from R50 to R200 per month – offering substantial savings.
While DStv offers sports fans the benefit of an extensive catalogue of live sports, it is also worth noting that streaming services offer on-demand viewing with a catalogue of thousands of movies and series.
MyBroadband compared the pricing of the biggest video content providers in South Africa.
Prices are calculated over a two-year period, taking into account both the price of the video service, as well as any additional costs that the user may need to pay for.
Fibre prices used to calculate the total cost of streaming services are those available from Mind the Speed.
Because multiple streaming services can be used on a single fibre connection, we also calculated the cost of signing up to all five streaming service compared in the table below – and found that it only costs slightly more than a DStv Premium subscription.
The actual cost of using South Africa’s biggest video content providers over 24 months are outlined below.
|Paid video content service prices in South Africa|
|Service||Monthly price||Additional costs||Total 24-month cost|
|DStv Premium||R809 x 24||R599 for decoder + installation
R265 per year TV licence
|Netflix Standard||R139 x 24||10Mbps/5Mbps fibre – R460pm||R14,376|
|Showmax||R99 x 24||10Mbps/5Mbps fibre – R460pm||R13,416|
|Video Play||R99 x 24||10Mbps/5Mbps fibre – R460pm||R13,416|
|Prime Video||$2.99 x 6; $5.99 x 18||10Mbps/5Mbps fibre – R460pm||R12,924|
|Apple TV||$4.99 x 24||10Mbps/5Mbps fibre – R460pm||R12,834|
|All streaming services||10Mbps/5Mbps fibre – R460pm||R22,806|