MultiChoice CFO Tim Jacobs said the new TelkomONE streaming service will show that DStv is better than what people think and that repeats are not as bad as perceived.
This week Telkom launched TelkomONE in partnership with the SABC, offering a wide range of TV and radio content to users.
TelkomONE will stream SABC television channels 1, 2, Sport, and Education as well as all 19 SABC radio stations.
It will also give subscribers access to a large SABC catalogue, as well as additional comedy and lifestyle shows, and music.
Speaking to The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield, Jacobs said the launch of TelkomONE is both an opportunity and a threat to MultiChoice.
“On the one side we have a competitor in the marketplace, and we have never taken competition lightly,” he said.
“At the same time, it is an opportunity. For the first time consumers in South Africa are able to look at what another service provider has to offer and compare something to us.”
“We often get criticized for repeats and not having fresh content, and the reason for that criticism is that there is no basis for comparison.”
“Once we have some competitors in the marketplace that will definitely help us to establish the differential between our products and everyone else’s.”
Strange comments about competition
Jacobs’ comments are perplexing as MultiChoice has had competition in the pay-TV and streaming market for years.
The launch of TopTV in 2010 was a direct competitor in the satellite pay-TV market, while OpenviewHD has been competing with DStv in the low-end market since 2013.
In the streaming space, MultiChoice has faced numerous competitors, including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Vodacom Video Play, MTN VU, and Cell C Black.
In fact, Multichoice CEO Calvo Mawela has even accused Netflix of having an unfair advantage to capture market share in South Africa.
To therefore say that South African consumers will “for the first time” be able to compare another offering to DStv is misguided.
They have already judged DStv, and millions of South Africans prefer MultiChoice’s offerings to other options in the market.
Over the last year, MultiChoice grew its local DStv subscriber base from 8.2 million to 8.7 million, driven by 17% growth in the mass-market segment.
High-end subscribers with fast and stable Internet access are, however, dumping DStv Premium in preference of Netflix and other streaming options.
The decline in DStv Premium numbers were pronounced over the last six months because of the absence of sport.
Some consolation for MultiChoice is that it is also growing its online streaming subscriptions, which increased by 26% over the last year.