DStv channel and price comparison — Premium vs Compact Plus vs Compact

DStv offers a range of packages at different prices to cater to the many tastes and affordability profiles.

With more than 8.9 million subscribers in South Africa as of March 2021, it is the country’s largest pay-TV broadcaster.

To put that figure into perspective, there were about 9.5 million TV licence holders in South Africa in 2020.

What traditionally made DStv a must-have was its extensive range of movie and entertainment channels coupled with unmatched sports coverage.

While it has remained the best source for sports, increasing competition from on-demand video streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video has resulted in a gradual decline in Premium customers.

At the same time, DStv has seen tremendous growth in its medium and mass-market segments which comprise of its Compact, Family, Access, and EasyView packages.

A DStv package still offers great value for many of these subscribers. Particularly as making the best of streaming services requires a fast Internet connection, and affordable uncapped broadband is not yet available everywhere in South Africa.

The monthly price of a DStv package varies between R29 and R829 per month, but if you exclude DStv Premium the prices are all less than R540 — which is around the same price as a 20Mbps home fibre connection.

Deciding which DStv package is best suited for your tastes and requirements can be tricky.

The table below shows the number of TV channels each DStv package offers and how much they cost.

The prices do not include the cost of the decoder or the monthly PVR access fee.

Package Price per month Number of Channels
DStv Premium R829 158
DStv Compact Plus R539 144
DStv Compact R409 127
DStv Family R295 90
DStv Access R115 66
DStv EasyView R29 36
Access fee R105

From the table above, if you calculate the price per channel DStv Compact and Compact Plus appear to offer far greater value for money. DStv Compact is R3.22 per channel, compared to R5.24 for DStv Premium.

It’s interesting to note that DStv Premium offers only 31 more channels than DStv Compact but is more than double its price.

Although the latter has more sought-after channels, this has evidently not been enough for millions of subscribers who cancelled their plans in recent years.

We’ve compared the channels available from the top three best DStv packages — Premium, Compact Plus, and Compact — to provide a comprehensive overview of what’s on offer with each plan.

DStv Compact

The table below shows all the channels you get on a DStv Compact packages. All of these channels are also available on DStv Compact Plus and Premium.

DStv Compact and Up
Movies & Entertainment
M-Net Movies 3 (107) M-Net Movies 4 (108) Studio Universal (112) KIX (114)
M-Net City (115) Vuzu (116) Universal Channel (117) Telemundo (118)
BBC Brit (120) Discovery Channel (121) E! Entertainment Television (124) FOX (125)
Ginx eSports (127) BET (129) MTV (130) Lifetime (131)
CBS Reality (132) TLNovelas (133) Discovery TLC Entertainment (135) Discovery Family (136)
TNT Africa (137) eMovies (138) eMovies Extra (140) Maisha Magic Movies (141)
kykNET & Kie (145) AfricaMagic Epic (152) AfricaMagic Family (154) Real Time (155)
Moja Love (157) Moja 9.9 (158) Mzansi Magic (161) Mzansi Wethu (163)
Mzansi Bioskop (164) Novela Magic (165) ZEE World (166) Star Life (167)
ROK (168) e.TV Extra (195) Big Brother Naija (197) Idols Extra (198)
My Channel Africa (515)
Documentaries & Lifestyle
VIA TV (147) Discovery ID (171) Honey (173) BBC Lifestyle (174)
Food Network (175) The Home Channel (176) HGTV (177) Travel Channel (179)
People’s Weather (180) National Geographic (181) Nat Geo Wild (182) WildEarth (183)
Ignition TV (189) Spice TV (190)
SABC 1 (191) SABC 2 (192) SABC 3 (193) e.TV (194)
Soweto TV (251) Bay TV (260) 1 KZN (261) Tshwane TV (262)
Cape Town TV (263) GauTV (265) Lesotho TV (292) NTA i (299)
TV Mozambique Internacional (701)
SuperSport Blitz (200) SuperSport PSL (202) SuperSport Premier League (203) SuperSport La Liga (204)
SuperSport Football (205) SuperSport Variety 3 (208) SuperSport Variety 4 (209) ESPN (218)
WWE Channel (236) TellyTrack (249)
Kids & Teen
Cartoon Network (201) Boomerang (302) Disney (303) NickTOONS (308)
Dinsey Junior (309) JimJam (310) eToonz (311) PBS Kids (313)
Da Vinci (318) Mindset (319)
kykNet Nou (146) Channel O (320) Mzansi Music (321) MTV Base (322)
TRACE Urban (325) TRACE Africa (326) Sound City (327) One Gospel (331)
TRACE Gospel (332)
Dumisa (340) FAITH (341) Day Star (342) TBN Africa (343)
iTV Networks (347) Emmanuel TV (390)
News & Commerce
BBC World News (400) CNN International (401) eNCA (403) SABC News (404)
Newzroom Afrika (405)  Al Jazeera (406) Russia Today (407) Parliamentary Service (408)
CGTN News (409) CNBC Africa (410) Business Day TV (412) NDTV 24×7 (413)
Euronews (414) Africanews (417)
Specialist / Foreign
RAI Italia (430) Beste van Nederlands (431) RTPi (435) TV5 Monde Afrique (437)
Deutsche Welle (446) CCTV 5 (447)

DStv Compact Plus and Premium

DStv Compact Plus and Premium includes the channels listed above, plus the following 17 channels. Major additions for the extra R130 per month include three SuperSport channels, ESPN, Comedy Central, kykNET, The History Channel, and SkyNews.

DStv Compact Plus and Up
Movies & Entertainment
1Magic (103) Comedy Central (122) Timeless Dizi (123)
kykNET (144) AfricaMagic Urban Movies (153)
Documentaries & Lifestyle
CBS Justice (170) Curiosity Channel (185) The History Channel (186)
SuperSport Variety 1 (206) SuperSport Variety 2 (207) SuperSport ACTION (210)
ESPN 2 (219)
Kids & Teen
Nickelodeon (305) Cbeebies (306) Nick Jr (307)
MTV Hits (323)
News & Commerce
Sky News (402)

DStv Premium

The following 14 channels are only available on DStv Premium. The biggest difference is in the sports category, where Premium features live broadcasting of the most high-profile matches and events in rugby, cricket, golf, tennis, and motorsport.

DStv Premium also includes M-Net and additional M-Net Movies channels.

DStv Premium
Movies & Entertainment
M-Net (101) M-Net Movies 1 (104) M-Net Movies 2 (106)
Discovery Channel (121) fliekNET (149)
Documentaries & Lifestyle
BBC Earth (184)
SuperSport Grandstand (101) SuperSport Rugby (211) SuperSport Cricket (212)
SuperSport Golf (213) SuperSport Tennis (214) SuperSport Motorsport (215)
Supersport Maximo 1 (241)
News & Commerce
Bloomberg (411)

Now read: SABC signs sports deal with ESPN

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DStv channel and price comparison — Premium vs Compact Plus vs Compact