DStv sport broadcasting monopoly “abnormal”: StarTimes

“It’s not fair and it’s abnormal,” president of StarTimes, Pang Xinxing said about the lack of premium sports content on affordable subscription TV packages in South Africa.

StarTimes is expected to soon become a new shareholder of On Digital Media (ODM), which operated TopTV.

TopTV was recently relaunched as StarSat with the promise of new channels and a simplified selection of bouquets.

Xinxing said he found the situation in South Africa curious considering the maturity of the market.

Even in less developed markets content such as premier football matches are available more affordably and not only “to a few wealthy families”, he said.

StarTimes is ready to work with the South African people and government to change this situation and create a digital TV market that is fair, competitive, and healthy, Xinxing said.

Pang Xinxing
Pang Xinxing

Pay TV prices

In South Africa, premium football content is typically screened on the SuperSport 3 and SuperSport 4 channels which are available on DStv’s Compact, Extra, and Premium bouquets.

These cost R275, R380, and R625 per month respectively.

DStv Mobile also offers a lower quality broadcast of SuperSport 1, 2, 3, and 4 aimed at devices with smaller screens such as smartphones and tablet PCs for R49 per month.

At the launch of StarSat, ODM announced that the 7 bouquets currently offered on TopTV will be whittled down to 4 (more specifically, 3 with an add-on):

  • StarSat Special: R99/month
  • StarSat Sensation: R149/month
  • StarSat Superior: R199/month
  • StarSat Indian (add-on): R99/month

These new bouquets, along with a number of new channels, will become available from 1 December 2013, ODM said.

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DStv sport broadcasting monopoly “abnormal”: StarTimes