Goodbye DStv – Where to stream sports, movies, TV shows, and news

The availability of international video streaming services has made it possible for South Africans to cut the DStv cord still access a wide range of entertainment – including movies, series, sports, and news.

DStv has been the dominant Pay TV provider in the country for more than two decades thanks to its unrivalled offering of sport, movies, TV shows, music, documentaries, and current affairs.

Its top-of-the-range package – DStv Premium – used to be a must-have for most affluent households and sports fans.

This has changed. Higher uncapped broadband penetration rates and the growth in streaming services like Netflix has resulted in a drop in DStv Premium subscriptions over the last few years.

The R829 DStv Premium subscription fee played a big role in its popularity decline. It is far more expensive than competing streaming services, even when combined with broadband access.

When it comes to movies and TV shows, it is easy to get better value-for-money through streaming services than what DStv offers.

Netflix, for example, offers a large content library library, including its own original productions and licenced movies and TV shows from leading production companies.

The service offers packages starting from R99 per month for a Basic plan with 720p streaming on a single device. The standard option allows for two simultaneous Full-HD streams at R139 per month.

Much of DStv’s best local and international content is also available on MultiChoice’s own streaming service – Showmax – at R99 per month.

This includes HBO’s popular and acclaimed TV shows as well as productions from popular channels like Mzansi Magic and kykNET.

South Africans also have the option of Amazon Prime Video and Apple TV+.

The former has a comprehensive library of movies and TV shows, while the latter is still growing its catalogue with a focus on high-quality productions.

Another worthy contender is Disney+. While it is not officially available in South Africa, there is a workaround for paying and accessing the platform.

The table below shows the most popular streaming services for watching movies and TV shows as an alternative to those offered on DStv.

Movie and TV show streaming services
Service Content Additional requirements Monthly price
Netflix Standard 3,428 movies
1,891 TV shows
None R139
Showmax 1,131 movies
453 TV shows
None R99
Amazon Prime Video 10,311 movies
1,206 TV shows
None $5.99 / R84
Apple TV+ 49 titles None R84.99
Disney+ 946 movies
270 TV shows
VPN
US-based payment method
$7.99 / R112

Finding a streaming service which offers all of the sports available on DStv’s SuperSport bouquet is more challenging than movies and TV shows.

SuperSport’s extensive coverage is hard to beat on any single sports streaming service easily accessible to South Africans.

SuperSport broadcasts most local and international rugby, cricket, football, golf, tennis, cycling, athletics, boxing, and fighting.

This is because MultiChoice is investing billions in securing the rights to the majority of these popular sports and tournaments in South Africa.

As a result, most legitimate sport streaming services geo-block South Africa and require a reputed VPN service and/or foreign based payment method to use.

The notable exception is MultiChoice’s own Showmax Pro service – which bundles Showmax with a limited selection of sports, such as football, athletics, boxing, and fighting.

The offering is, however, mediocre when considering that many people in South Africa also want to watch rugby, cricket, tennis, and motorsport.

Showmax Pro header 1

In terms of alternative streaming services for these sports, Now TV Sky Sports offers a comparable range of sport channels and coverage and costs £33.99 (R673). It requires a UK debit or credit card and address to use, however.

The best affordable international offering we found was ESPN+, which is currently priced at $5.99 (around R85) per month.

The service boasts live and on-demand coverage of numerous international and US sports, the latter of which includes American football, baseball, basketball, and ice hockey.

This is in addition to the following popular sports and tournaments:

  • Rugby – Rainbow Cup, SANZAR matches, and international tests.
  • Golf – PGA Tour and Masters.
  • Motorsport – Formula 1 and Formula 3.
  • Mixed Martial Arts – UFC and PFL.

Other sports coverage includes boxing, lacrosse, softball, gymnastics, and field hockey.

To sign up for ESPN+, you will need to be connected to a US server with a VPN.

For payment, any Visa/Mastercard credit card should work, although you will have to use a US zip code for the transaction to be processed.

ESPN+

A dedicated legal cricket streaming service is more difficult to find, with the best choices being either Hotstar or SonyLiv.

Both of these are limited to streaming in India, so South Africans have to jump through multiple loopholes to access them.

This not only requires a VPN connected to an India-based server, but also needs an Indian payment method and Indian mobile number to which an OTP will be sent for verification.

Watchsportonline offers a workaround for this, which involves an elaborate process through which you have to pay an Indian service provider on Fiverr to handle some of these steps.

The site found one such provider who charged around R1,000 a year for SonyLiv Premium, or R1,500 for Hotstar Premium.

Lastly, for major tennis coverage, ATP Tennis TV is the preferred option, although it is expensive for a single sport service at $14.99 (R210) per month.

The table below shows the best sport video streaming services you can choose from to replace DStv Premium’s sport offering.

Sport streaming services
Service Content Additional requirements Monthly price
Showmax Pro Athletics
Football
Boxing
Swimming
News channels
Music channels
None R449
Now TV Sky Sports Football
Rugby
Cricket
Golf
MotorsportTennis
Boxing
MMA
Basketball
VPN
UK-based payment method
UK address
£33.99 / R673
ESPN+ Rugby
Cricket
Golf
Boxing
MMA
Basketball
American football
Baseball
Field Hockey
Ice Hockey
F1 motorsport
VPN with US server
US zip code
$5.99 / R84
ATP Tennis TV Tennis VPN for certain matches $14.99 / R210
Hotstar Premium Cricket
Football
VPN with India server
India-based payment method
+/- R125

 

 

F1TV Formula 1 None $4.99 / R70

 

SonyLiv Premium Cricket
FootballMotoGP
VPN
India-based payment method
+/- R83

Using the information above, we’ve created five possible packages which combine the general entertainment and sport subscriptions for less than the price of DStv Premium.

For entertainment, we’ve included Netflix in most of our combos, as it offers the best selection of high-quality movies and TV shows, particularly if you can use it with a VPN and access its libraries in different countries.

In terms of sport, ESPN+ offered the best value for money, as it was very cheap considering its wide range of content.

The table below shows the five different combinations of the streaming services you could pay for to replace your DStv Premium package.

Combined streaming packages 
No tennis or MotoGP No small sports Many movies and most sport Movies and small sport Some movies and all sport
Netflix Standard
Showmax
Amazon Prime Video
Disney+
Showmax Pro
ESPN+
Hotstar Premium
SonyLiv Premium
ATP Tennis TV
Total R797 R824 R811 R784 R826

For news

In addition to its general entertainment and sports offering, DStv Premium boasts numerous live news channels including BBC, CNN, Sky News, eNCA, SABC News, Newzroom Afrika, and Al Jazeera.

If you want to stay up to date with the latest events and happenings around the world after dropping your DStv Premium package, live news channel streaming is available for free on certain services.

One example of this is TelkomOne, which offers Al Jazeera, Africanews, Euronews, France 24, RT, RTD and TRT World.

Paying for a TelkomOne AMP subscription adds BBC News to this selection. This will cost you R50 per month.

On YouTube, South Africans are also able to access 24/7 live news streaming free from ABC News, Sky News, and Al Jazeera.

Showmax Pro offers more local options with SABC News and Newzroom Afrika, in addition to Africanews and Euronews.

Now read: Ultimate DStv bundle for R1,276 – DStv Premium, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and YouTube Premium

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Goodbye DStv – Where to stream sports, movies, TV shows, and news