Netflix vs DStv vs Showmax — the best value for money

South Africans get the highest value from a Netflix Premium subscription than from DStv Premium stream-only or Showmax Pro, provided they don’t want MultiChoice’s live sports coverage.

Netflix’s top-tier subscription is cheaper, allows more concurrent streams, and offers a broader range of on-demand content.

MyBroadband compared the three streaming platforms regarding their value propositions, using price, concurrent streams, and content.

Netflix’s R199 monthly subscription fee is R100 less than that of Showmax Pro and R500 less than DStv Premium.

Regarding on-demand programming, Netflix offers almost three times more content than Showmax and over four times more than DStv CatchUp.

The chart below compares the available content on the three streaming platforms.

According to JustWatch data, Netflix’s South African catalogue currently includes 2,349 TV shows and 3,791 movies, made up of various Netflix Originals and programming acquired through broadcasting licence deals.

Showmax subscribers can choose from 1,544 movies and 589 shows.

It should be noted that DStv CatchUp isn’t featured on JustWatch’s platform. We hand-counted the programming in its catalogue to determine how many TV shows and movies it offers.

DStv Premium subscribers can access 839 on-demand movies and 611 on-demand TV shows.

While Netflix’s content volume is far greater than that of Showmax and DStv, it’s important to note that it doesn’t offer any live TV or sports.

On the other hand, Showmax Pro offers live broadcasts for the English Premier League, LaLiga, Serie A, UEFA Europa and UEFA Conference leagues.

DStv Premium is the broadcaster’s top-tier package and gives customers access to more than 135 live TV channels — including SuperSport.

We also compared the broadcasters in terms of price and price per title. The comparison is summarised in the table below.

It should be noted this does not count individual episodes. Long-running series like The Big Bang Theory, Friends, Seinfeld, Suits, and Brookline Nine-Nine on Netflix would further increase the count.

Price per programme comparison
Platform Titles Price per month Price per programme
Netflix Premium 6,140 R199.00 R0.03
Showmax Pro 2,133 R349.00 R0.16
DStv Premium 1,442 R699.00 R0.48

Netflix Premium has the lowest subscription fee of the lot, and with more content available to its customers, its price per programme works out to R0.03.

MultiChoice recently cut its Showmax Pro pricing to R349 from R449, and with 2,133 titles in its catalogue, this works out to R0.16 per programme.

DStv Premium is the most expensive at R699 a month. Its price per title is by far the highest at R0.48.

Streaming limits

Netflix Premium allows the most concurrent streams of the three platforms, allowing subscribers to stream on four devices simultaneously.

Showmax Pro limits concurrent streams to two devices.

Netflix is currently cracking down on password sharing overseas by allowing customers to pay an extra fee to add more members to the subscription.

Adding an extra member does not increase the number of simultaneous streams allowed per account.

Regardless, Netflix’s approach to tackling password sharing has been more graceful than DStv’s.

MultiChoice limited streaming to one device at a time in March 2022.

Many subscribers complained that the sudden change caused their streaming services to misbehave — causing legitimate viewers to receive error messages.

It also broke DStv’s screencasting capabilities.

DStv’s new streaming limit applies to all its packages across Africa. However, subscribers may still watch pre-downloaded content while someone else is streaming.

Now read: Netflix starts cracking down on password sharing

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Netflix vs DStv vs Showmax — the best value for money