DStv vs sports streaming services in South Africa

One of DStv’s most attractive features is arguably SuperSport. Although MultiChoice has dominated the premium sports arena for decades, there was recently uncertainty over whether it would acquire the rights to broadcast the Indian Premier League cricket.

DStv packages that include premium sports also remain expensive, and cost-conscious South African viewers may look to streaming alternatives as they become available.

Several dedicated sports streaming services are available to South African viewers.

DStv customers who enjoy watching live sports can sign up for its Premium package for the complete catalogue of SuperSport channels, including rugby and cricket, or the Compact Plus package for a subset of channels that includes Premier League football.

Both packages are expensive compared to other sports streaming services — including MultiChoice’s own Showmax Pro.

The pay-TV broadcaster hiked the prices of its satellite packages on 1 April 2023 by an average of 4.3% across its portfolio.

However, the price of its streaming-only packages remained unchanged.

Therefore, South Africans must pay R699 or R469 per month for DStv Premium and Compact Plus streaming-only packages, respectively.

The top-tier DStv subscription provides customers access to all SuperSport content, including dedicated channels for rugby, cricket, and specific football tournaments and leagues.

DStv’s Compact Plus package limits the SuperSport channels offered to customers, removing the dedicated rugby, cricket, golf, tennis, and motorsport channels.

However, it should be noted that it still provides access to SuperSport Action, and its four variety channels, which often air major events.

An important aspect to consider when choosing a streaming service is the number of concurrent streams it allows.

Concurrent streams are the number of broadcasts that can be played simultaneously on the same account —  and DStv limits concurrent streams to one.

The pay-TV broadcaster implemented a one concurrent stream limit in March 2022 to try and combat password sharing.

However, the decision was met with significant backlash from its customers. MultiChoice COO Simon Camerer revealed that DStv’s Proximity Control system is in the works, on track, and could roll out in mid-2023.

Proximity Control is the name of a digital rights management system MultiChoice wants to deploy to manage simultaneous connections to its online streaming service.

MultiChoice’s dedicated streaming service — Showmax — offers a Pro subscription that gives customers access to live sports broadcasts, primarily focused on football.

Showmax Pro costs R349 a month and lets subscribers watch two streams simultaneously on one account.

Another option is the South African Broadcasting Corporation’s (SABC) free streaming service SABC+. However, it should be noted that the sports content is limited to whatever is broadcast on SABC Sports.

The streaming service only allows one concurrent stream for free viewers.

South Africans can also legally subscribe to dedicated sports streaming services, including UFC Fight Pass, DAZN, F1 TV Pro, and Fifa+.

UFC Fight Pass is the most expensive of these at R218 a month. It allows only one concurrent stream.

Combat sports fans may also be interested in DAZN, which airs content like boxing, wrestling, the Professional Fighters League, and other sports tournaments.

A subscription to the service costs R149.99 a month and allows customers two streams on two devices simultaneously.

Formula 1 fans can sign up for a monthly F1 TV Pro for R90. The streaming service broadcasts live races and gives enthusiasts access to real-time data and other benefits.

However, the dedicated Formula 1 streaming service only allows one concurrent stream.

Those who wish to stream a selection of FIFA-sanctioned matches, older full-match replays, and original documentaries can look to FIFA+.

FIFA+ is free and doesn’t limit concurrent streams.

Several club-specific football streaming services are available to South Africans as well.

However, only lower-tier competitions tend to broadcast in-season matches, while top-tier teams aren’t able to air their in-season games.

Several sports streaming platforms available in South Africa, and their pricing and streaming limits are listed in the table below.

Sports-streaming services
Service Cost per month Concurrent streams
DStv Premium R699.00 1
DStv Compact Plus R469.00 1
Showmax Pro R349.00 2
UFC Fight Pass R218.00 1
DAZN R149.99 2
F1 TV Pro R90.00 1
SABC+ Free 1
Fifa+ Free Unlimited

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DStv vs sports streaming services in South Africa