DStv’s dominance in live sports is under threat from international streaming giants and a renewed proposal from the ANC to end exclusive broadcasting rights for national teams.
SuperSport is MultiChoice’s crown jewel, offering DStv and Showmax Pro subscribers a wide variety of sports.
However, it is facing increasing competition from all quarters.
Its biggest immediate threat is regulations that would ban South Africa’s national sports bodies from selling exclusive broadcasting rights.
South Africa’s ruling party, the African National Congress, has signalled its intent to strip DStv of its exclusive broadcasting rights for national sports teams.
If the policy is greenlit and distilled into regulations, it will allow the SABC to broadcast matches involving South Africa’s national teams.
Industry regulator Icasa previously proposed such regulations but recently announced it was rebooting its inquiry into DStv’s dominance.
In the meantime, the SABC partnered with The Walt Disney Company Africa in late 2021 to give South African viewers access to international sporting content.
The partnership made US and European sports like football, basketball, and boxing accessible to SABC Sports viewers.
Other major future SuperSport competitors are tech and media giants like Amazon, Google, and Disney.
Bloomberg reported that Google owner Alphabet, Amazon, Reliance Industries, Sony, Zee Entertainment, and Dream 11 are all bidding on broadcast rights for the Indian Premier League (IPL).
According to the report, the IPL media rights auction will allow the highest bidders to globally telecast IPL matches between 2023 and 2027 by TV broadcast and live streaming.
However, South Africans should not hold their breath for Netflix to enter the live sports broadcasting market.
Over the years, Netflix has maintained that it is an entertainment streaming service and won’t bring its subscribers access to live sports broadcasting.
Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos told JP Morgan’s Douglas Anmuth that the streaming giant does not consider live sports profitable enough.
However, Netflix will continue to offer its subscribers “sports-adjacent programming” like its Formula 1: Drive to Survive series, which will get an additional two seasons.
Netflix has also partnered with the Professional Golfers’ Association and the Association of Tennis Professionals to produce content similar to its F1 offerings.
MyBroadband asked Disney if it plans to bring India’s Hotstar live cricket streaming service to South Africa, but the company did not respond by the time of publication.
When Disney+ launched in South Africa in May, the company said it didn’t have anything to announce in that regard.
Amazon also did not respond by the time of publication.