Why you cannot get DStv’s R390 package with all SuperSport channels

DStv sells a package that includes all its SuperSport channels for just R390 per month (per screen), but it is exclusive to accommodation establishments like hotels, lodges, and B&Bs.

MultiChoice’s satellite TV service offers the most comprehensive range of live and recorded sports coverage of any broadcaster or streaming service in South Africa.

Most of this is available on its 18 SuperSport channels, while it also boasts two ESPN channels for those interested in US sports.

But the only package MultiChoice offers to general customers that features all its SuperSport channels is its most expensive — DStv Premium.

While a subset of channels is also available on cheaper bouquets, the most sought-after rugby, cricket, tennis, golf, and motorsport events are typically only available on Premium-reserved channels.

This bouquet costs R839 per month on a decoder-based subscription or R699 per month for a streaming-only plan.

Several DStv subscribers have for years called for the broadcaster to offer sports-only packages at more affordable prices.

A large chunk of its customers pays the relatively hefty monthly fee just to be able to watch sports and aren’t interested in the other content on offer.

A better deal for businesses

Businesses in South Africa that want to have their customers, clients or employees enjoy DStv content — both general entertainment and sports — typically enjoy better rates under its DStv Stay, DStv Play, and DStv Work product lines.

Each of these product lines is exclusively available to the following entities:

  • DStv Stay — For accommodation-type establishments with rooms for sleeping, like hotels, lodges, B&Bs, retirement villages, clinics, and hospitals.
  • DStv Play — For establishments with common areas where people are eating, drinking, learning, or relaxing, including pubs, bars, shops, restaurants, taverns, shebeens, stadiums, and arenas.
  • DStv Work — For business offices where people work, including at schools, universities, corporate or government offices, banks, and reception areas.

The Stay and Play line-ups have three packages, each with different combinations of channels — Basic, Essential, and Ultra — while Work has only one bouquet — Essential.

The cheapest among all the packages that feature all SuperSport channels is the Stay Essential product, which costs R390 per TV per month. Its only missing sports channel is ESPN 2.

It also includes some general entertainment channels only available to Premium subscribers, such as M-Net, Discovery Channel, and Bloomberg TV.

But there are some channels missing that are available on cheaper DStv consumer packages, particularly in the music and documentary categories.

The infographic below shows which DStv channels are available on each of the three DStv Stay packages.

We were curious to know more about the reasons behind the pricing differences between DStv business and consumer packages.

MyBroadband asked MultiChoice for comment on the reasoning behind the pricing differences between its consumer and business DStv packages, but we did not receive feedback by the time of publication.

One way MultiChoice could ensure a profit margin would be to impose some form of minimum threshold for the number of rooms for the DStv Stay package.

But there was no mention of this in the DStv Business terms and conditions.

The only mention of room numbers for the Business packages was under a clause that said DStv had the right to audit and inspect the premises during reasonable hours to ensure clients were paying for the correct number of screens or rooms.

Some other noteworthy attributes of business packages could contribute to better profit margins.

One key difference is that business offerings are priced per TV.

That means there is no XtraView option for connecting additional decoders while only paying a nominal extra fee on the primary subscription. That already increases the revenue per room.

While a DStv Premium package might cost R839 per month, its access fee per additional decoder costs R110 per month.

Every extra decoder and TV (called a viewing environment) connected via a business package must have its own subscription.

While a household with three decoders and TVs will pay R1,059 per month, excluding the costs of the decoders themselves, three Stay Essential packages would cost R1,190 per month.

The Stay Ultra package, which also includes additional general entertainment channels that are on Premium, would cost R1,725.

In-room vs public viewing

Stay packages are also restricted to in-room viewing and may not be used for public venues.

In this way, DStv lowers the number of potential viewers able to watch a channel on a TV set at any given time.

While it does not stipulate how many viewers can watch per Stay package, accommodation establishments typically impose reasonable limits on room occupants.

DStv’s Play packages, which do allow for viewing in public areas, are much more expensive than Stay — likely factoring in simultaneous viewers.

For example, the top-end DStv Play Ultra bouquet costs R940 per month, which is more than the standard DStv Premium price.

The infographics below summarise the other DStv Business packages under the Play and Work categories.


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Why you cannot get DStv’s R390 package with all SuperSport channels