SuperSport has, for decades, been the primary source of sporting entertainment in South Africa, but there is a range of streaming services that offer an alternative option to DStv.
As lockdown restrictions lift around the world, sporting events are becoming more plentiful and now may be a good time to look at alternative options to a DStv subscription.
SuperSport’s variety does make it a good value for the sports lover — and it is no easy task to find a single service that covers as much sporting content as DStv does.
This is because MultiChoice invests millions to secure the rights to broadcast and stream local and international sporting events in South Africa.
International services like ESPN+ and NOW TV Sky Sports offer a good variety of sporting content, but they are not technically available in South Africa.
Subscribing to these services requires a VPN or DNS unblocker and the effort to set up a payment method with a US or UK billing address. This usually involves setting up a virtual credit card or creating a PayPal, Google Play, or Apple account with an overseas address and loading them with credit in that country’s currency.
A great US-based option is FuboTV, though it is priced similarly to DStv Premium.
For those who want to stick to local services, MultiChoice offers Showmax Pro as a more affordable option for accessing certain sports via video streaming.
ESPN+ at $6, or R88 a month, is by far the most cost-effective streaming option. Though the price is set to increase to $7 a month in August 2021, it will remain the best-priced streaming option around.
The ESPN+ package serves as a complementary add-on to ESPN services, which is only available through larger packages like YoutubeTV and AT&T TV. Those start at around R1,000 a month.
What the ESPN+ package offers is selected events from a range of leagues, including MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL, PGA golf, boxing events, Grand Slam tennis events, and Premier League and Bundesliga football.
However, the package does not offer full coverage of all these leagues, and subscribers have to review the schedules to see which events will be streamed by the service.
ESPN+ can be combined with Hulu and Disney+ to form a bundle for $14 or R205 a month, which may be a better all-round replacement for DStv.
Offering a complete package is UK-based NOW TV Sky Sports, which serves as a more complete sporting service than ESPN+, at ₤30, or R600 a month.
The package gives access to 11 Sky Sports channels, including Premier League, Cricket, Golf, F1, Action, Football and the Sky Sports Main Event channel.
Sports that don’t have their own dedicated channel include Rugby League and Rugby Union, UFC, NFL, Boxing, and Basketball.
Users can choose to pay ₤25, or R500, instead of the R600, but this will exclude the Boost service that allows for 1080p instead of 720p streaming. Boost also gives you three simultaneous streams instead of two.
Like ESPN+, which requires a US VPN and ZIP code, NOW TV Sky Sports requires a UK address and VPN and a credit card with a UK billing address.
US-based FuboTV is a juggernaut sport-streaming service and an exception in our list — costing about the same as DStv Premium at $65, or R957 a month.
Included in the package is 115 channels, of which 51 are sporting channels.
FuboTV covers all the American league sports, college sports, and all the golf and tennis majors, the Olympics, Champions League, Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, Bundesliga, Ligue 1, and many more.
Besides live streaming on 3 devices, the service also includes 250 hours of DVR recording space.
The image below shows the sporting channels available on FuboTV.
If you want an alternative to DStv, but don’t want the hassle of using VPNs and getting overseas credit cards, then MultiChoice’s own Showmax Pro is the best local alternative.
At R449 a month, the service offers sporting events like the Olympics, IAAF athletics, marathons, pro boxing, and a range of football leagues like the Premier League, Serie A, PSL and La Liga.
Notable exclusions, especially for South African sporting fans, are cricket, rugby, tennis and Formula 1.
Showmax Pro also only offers two concurrent streams instead of the three offered by the international services. Still, its R449 price tag can only be matched by ESPN+, which has a limited range of live events.
Below is a table comparing Showmax Pro, ESPN+, NOW TV Sky Sports, and FuboTV.
|Sport streaming services|
|Service||Sporting content||Concurrent Streams||Additional requirements||Monthly price|
|Now TV Sky Sports||Football
UK-based payment method
|£30 / R600|
|ESPN+||(Limited range of live events)
|3||VPN with US server
US zip code
|$5.99 / R84|
|3||VPN with US server
US zip code
|$65 / R957|