MultiChoice recently launched its Showmax Pro subscription service in South Africa.
Showmax Pro offers the ability to stream a selection of live sports, music, and news channels available on MultiChoice’s satellite broadcaster DStv.
This is in addition to the regular movies and TV shows available on a Showmax subscription.
The service has the potential to attract DStv subscribers who are primarily interested in sports viewing, as it provides access to live sports such as football, athletics, swimming, boxing, and a range of fighting sports.
These customers would not have to purchase, install, or use the decoder and satellite dish needed for a DStv package.
They would only require an Internet connection, preferably an uncapped package, and they would have to pay the R449 monthly fee in order to fully utilise Showmax Pro.
Showmax Pro versus DStv Compact
When compared with MultiChoice’s flagship product – DStv Premium – Showmax Pro’s live sports offering is fairly limited.
It does not include any of the Premium bouquet’s rugby, cricket, or tennis coverage. Golf, cycling, and motorsport are also excluded.
However, it does offer a similar selection of sports as DStv’s Compact and Compact Plus bouquets.
DStv Compact is currently priced at R399 per month, while Compact Plus carries a monthly fee of R529.
To see which of the options offered the widest selection of sports, we compared their offerings as detailed by MultiChoice.
The table below provides a summary of the sports available on each package.
|Showmax Pro vs DStv Compact vs DStv Compact Plus – Live Sport|
|Content||Showmax Pro||DStv Compact||DStv Compact Plus|
|Football||English Premier League, LaLiga, Serie A, FA Cup, UEFA Champions and Europa Leagues, Premier Soccer League, and more.||English Premier League, LaLiga, Serie A, FA Cup, UEFA Champions and Europa Leagues, Premier Soccer League, and more.||English Premier League, LaLiga, Serie A, FA Cup, UEFA Champions and Europa Leagues, Premier Soccer League, and more.|
|Rugby||None||None||Additional matches (channels 206 & 210)|
|Motorsport||None||None||Additional races (channel 210)|
|Tennis||None||None||Additional matches (channels 206 & 210)|
|Golf||None||None||Additional tournaments (channel 206)|
|Cricket||None||None||Additional matches (channel 206 & 210)|
|Athletics||IAAF, Diamond League, World Challenge League, Berlin, Boston, London, NYC, Soweto Marathons, and more.||IAAF, Diamond League, World Challenge League, Berlin, Boston, London, NYC, Soweto Marathons, and more.||IAAF, Diamond League, World Challenge League, Berlin, Boston, London, NYC, Soweto Marathons, and more.|
|Cycling||None||None||Tour de France, International Cycling|
|Boxing||Selected IBF, WBA, WBO, WBC, and African Boxing events.||None||Selected IBF, WBA, WBO, WBC, and African Boxing events.|
|Other||Swimming, Extreme Sports, eSports, Basketball, Triathlons, Horse Racing, EFC, Netball, Hockey, and more.||eSports, Triathlons, Horse Racing, Netball||Swimming, Extreme Sports, eSports, Basketball, Triathlon, Horse Racing, EFC, Netball, Hockey, and more.|
Compact Plus > Showmax Pro > Compact
The comparison showed that Showmax Pro offered several sports which were not available on the Compact bouquet.
Compact Plus, however, has all the sports content available on Showmax Pro, in addition to cycling and several other sports.
While broadcasts of the high-profile rugby, motorsport, tennis, golf, and cricket events are only available on Premium, certain additional matches, games, and tournaments of these sports are also on offer on SuperSport channels 206 and 210.
In instances where two matches at the same tournament or of the same sport may be taking place, one of these may be broadcast on the so-called “home channel” of that sport, while the other is shown on 206 or 210.
For example, if there are two Wimbledon matches being played simultaneously, the biggest or most important of the two would be on SuperSport’s main tennis channel (214), while the other would be on either 206 or 210.
This would likely only happen in cases where SuperSport’s Grandstand channel (201) is occupied by another high-profile sporting event or match.
Full comparison of prices
It should be noted, however, that the above comparison only applies to the live sports offerings.
To fairly compare the packages in their entirety, one must account for the TV shows and movies featuring on Showmax, many of which aren’t available on the Compact and Compact Plus movies and series channels.
MultiChoice offers Compact and Compact Plus subscribers the option to add a standard Showmax subscription at R49 per month, 50% cheaper than the normal price.
The table below shows the total prices a customer would then have to pay for access to both Showmax and live sports via Showmax Pro, DStv Compact, or DStv Compact Plus.
|Showmax Pro||DStv Compact||DStv Compact Plus|
A tough switch
From the prices above, it’s difficult to justify the switch from Compact Plus to a Showmax Pro subscription, particularly for DStv customers who already have a satellite dish and decoder installed.
DStv Compact Plus with Showmax may be slightly more expensive than Showmax Pro, but subscribers could get away with a cheaper Internet connection for watching only the shows and movies which aren’t available on DStv itself.
A DStv decoder and dish with installation included is currently available at a once-off fee of R655.
Fully utilising a Showmax Pro subscription, however, would require either an uncapped Internet connection or one with a high data cap. This would mean an additional cost of at least R500 per month.
Effectively, Showmax Pro and a suitable Internet connection would cost around R1,000 per month.