MultiChoice plans to launch DStv subscriptions bundled with uncapped fibre through South African ISPs in the near future.
This is according to MultiChoice CEO Calvo Mawela, who told MyBroadband that the company plans to launch this product through partner ISPs before the end of its financial year in March 2021.
It will comprise a standalone DStv streaming service which will be bundled with fibre product at a discounted rate, meaning South Africans will no longer require a satellite connection to watch DStv.
Instead, they will use the new DStv Explora Ultra or upcoming Streama set-top box, both of which can deliver the full DStv bouquet over an Internet connection.
“The target is this financial year, but of course this year is one of those big years where we have a lot of things we are bringing out at the same stage, and I think we are trying to make sure that we stagger them nicely and that we give people an opportunity to understand these products,” Mawela said.
“Our view is that we will still be able to roll it out within this financial year – we don’t see any hiccups there.”
He said that MultiChoice is considering its partnerships with ISPs carefully, noting that they do not want to take something to market they are not satisfied with.
“It is an area that is sort of new in a way to us. We’ve never really gone deeper into the Internet links,” he said.
MultiChoice is currently testing its standalone streaming platform and has launched a number of over-the-top services, including Showmax Pro and an overhauled DStv streaming platform.
MultiChoice has stated that customers who sign up for a standalone DStv bouquet without a satellite connection will pay the same price for their package, and it noted that streaming customers will not be able to record or play back recorded content, but will have access to BoxOffice.
“Showmax remains included in the price of a DStv Premium package experience, too, and streaming-only customers will also be able to access that,” the company said.
The price of uncapped fibre with DStv Premium
MyBroadband previously spoke to local ISPs, who said they were keen to bundle DStv’s streaming service with their fibre products.
Cool Ideas’ Paul Butschi told MyBroadband that the ISP believes there is potential for strong adoption of this product on the basis that there is a cost-saving opportunity available compared to normal delivery methods.
This view was shared by a number of local service providers, including Cybersmart, which said it had proactively reached out to DStv regarding this opportunity.
“As most of our customers are already using DStv Now, a bundled offering would be great for us. It certainly takes away the nightmare of a DStv-over-fibre implementation in multi-storey buildings,” Cybersmart CTO Laurie Fialkov said.
Fialkov added that a bundled offering through ISPs gives MultiChoice the opportunity to reduce prices, which could result in a price-to-consumer of between R999 and R1,299 for a bundled DStv service on its Lightspeed network.
“Depending on DStv’s discount to us, we could offer a bundled 500Mbps service between the R999 and R1,299 mark,” Fialkov said
DStv has noted that its standalone streaming service will be priced identically to its satellite packages, although there is opportunity for discounts to be passed to consumers via a bundled fibre package from ISPs.