Bad news for sports-only DStv package

Canal+ Group chair and CEO Maxime Saada has said that DStv will not start offering a sports-only package once under new ownership.

This follows an interview conducted by News24 with the CEO after the MultiChoice board approved Canal+’s offer to take over the South African media group.

Regarding sports-only and choose-your-own-channels packages, Saada said, “Everyone who has tried this has failed.”

The Canal+ CEO argued that only two things drive subscriptions: discounts and sports.

He said that Canal+ sees spikes in subscribers when there is a major sports match that people want to watch. However, one movie will not drive subscriptions.

Saada noted that sports fans like cinema, but the reverse is not necessarily true.

He also said Canal+ disagrees with MultiChoice’s strategy to diversify into industries like security, fintech, and betting.

As a group, Canal+ is only focused on content and content distribution, said Saada.

Some companies owned by MultiChoice outside the entertainment sector include Namola, BetKing, and Irdeto.

Saada’s interview comes after the two companies released a joint circular detailing plans and dates for the proposed buyout of the DStv operator at R125 per share.

The circular covered what happens to shareholders who choose not to sell, reiterated Canal+’s plan to list on the JSE, and provided some idea of how the companies might handle South Africa’s foreign ownership restrictions on broadcasters.

Canal+ has steadily bought up MultiChoice stock on the open market since October 2020 and hit a 35% threshold at the beginning of the year, triggering a mandatory buyout offer.

After some wrangling from MultiChoice and a reprimand from the Takeover Regulation Panel, Canal+ offered R125 per share, valuing the company at over R55 billion.

The buyout will cost Canal+ over R30 billion in cash, and the company continued buying MultiChoice shares while its offer is being considered.

The circular showed that Canal+ had not bought any additional shares since 10 May 2024.

The Takeover Regulation Panel last reported in May that Canal+’s shareholding of MultiChoice stood at 45.2%.

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Bad news for sports-only DStv package