Big DStv changes in 2022

DStv subscribers are set for a wave of changes in the next few weeks heading into April 2022, including price changes, channel revamps, and a controversial streaming adjustment.

South Africa’s biggest pay-TV broadcaster is facing increased pressure from a growing number of video streaming services, which have started to eat into its Premium subscriber base.

Instead of competing directly on this front and recapturing its top-tier customers, the broadcaster is increasingly focused on its mid and lower-end customers, with a so-called “hyper-localised” approach.

DStv believes this strategy will give it an edge in locally-appealing movies and TV shows that international content providers will find challenging to offer.

It remains to be seen whether this will pan out, but Digital TV Research expects the broadcaster will grow its subscriber base across Africa by 18 million to reach 57 million in 2027.

Here are all the significant confirmed changes coming to DStv over the next few weeks.


Price increases

As has become an annual practice, DStv will be implementing price increases on its packages from 1 April 2022, the start of its new financial year.

This year’s hikes are below 2021’s inflation rate of 4.9%, with the largest increases being applied to DStv Compact and Family.

The broadcaster said the adjustments came after a period of “increased value offerings” in its local and international general entertainment and sports content, DStv Internet, and DStv Rewards.

It claimed it had absorbed as much of the increase of the cost of doing business as possible to implement minimal increases.

The table below summarises the price changes for all packages.

DStv Price Increases
Packages 2021 Price 2022 Price
DStv Premium R829 R839
DStv Compact Plus R539 R549
DStv Compact R409 R429
DStv Family R295 R309
DStv Access R115 R120
Add-ons 2021 Price 2022 Price
Access Fee R105 R110
Box Office R40 R40

Channel changes

DStv’s channel offering is also getting a shake-up in April, with four dropouts and two additions.

From 1 April 2022, eMovies, eMovies Extra, eExtra, and eToonz will be axed, following a renewed channel supply agreement between MultiChoice and eMedia.

Among the new channels is kids-oriented DreamWorks, launching on 18 March.

DreamWorks will be available on channel 304 on DStv Premium, Compact Plus, and Compact.

DStv Family and Access subscribers will be able to access the channel for a limited open window period until 18 April.

The KIX movie channel (DStv 114) will also become available on all packages except EasyView from 31 March.

Another as-yet unconfirmed movie channel is also in the pipeline.

Russian news channel RT Today was also abruptly cut from DStv’s packages on 2 March, although this might only be temporary.

While many countries have opted to suspend the Russian state-funded channel due to the country’s invasion of Ukraine, MultiChoice has explained that this was not due to its own decision but rather the global provider of the channel, which pulled the plug following EU sanctions.


Streaming crackdown

To clamp down on password sharing, MultiChoice will be imposing a strict single-stream limit from 22 March 2022 across all its packages in Africa.

A second user can still watch pre-downloaded content while another is streaming.

Previously, subscribers were able to watch live TV on up to four different devices simultaneously in addition to a TV connected to a decoder.

The change won’t affect viewing on decoders, which means DStv customers can still watch on up to three decoders on a single subscription using XtraView, in conjunction with one viewer on a streaming device.

Showmax subscribers are also not affected by the change.

Nevertheless, the severe limitation has caused an uproar among DStv subscribers, with threats of a boycott on social media.

The single-stream limit seems unreasonable compared to MultiChoice’s highly successful competitors like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, and overseas live sports streaming services.

What makes the decision even stranger is that it outright undermines DStv’s recently-launched streaming-only product, which costs the same as the decoder-based offering but relies solely on streaming.


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Big DStv changes in 2022