UnoTelly, an online service that lets users circumvent regional restrictions on websites such as YouTube, Netflix, and Hulu, has added support for DStv’s video streaming services to its list of features.
This means that just as South Africans are able to access Netflix by making it look like they are connecting from the US, so too people outside SA can now stream content from SuperSport and DStv Catch Up with UnoTelly.
An UnoTelly subscription costs between $4.95 and $7.95 per month, and offers a domain name system (DNS) based service that helps users fool websites into thinking they are connecting from another country.
Much like Netflix, UnoTelly does not replace the need for a DStv Premium subscription at R665 per month (R740 with PVR access) to access SuperSport live streaming and DStv Catch Up.
Both DStv Catch Up and the live streaming of sporting events through the SuperSport website are features only available to DStv Premium subscribers.
Legal experts have explained that while a service like UnoTelly might not be illegal, using it to access content not licensed for South Africa is a form of copyright infringement.
MultiChoice, which operates the DStv satellite pay-TV platform, has been outspoken about its opposition to services such as UnoTelly.
“We are not able to take content to regions outside of those that we have licensed and the studios agree to not deliver those movies and TV series in our territory directly via the Internet,” MultiChoice said previously in response to articles about using UnoTelly to watch Netflix in South Africa.
The pay-TV operator has also said that it works closely with the rights suppliers to prevent “this kind of illegal activity.”
When asked about UnoTelly supporting DStv’s value-added online services for Premium subscribers, MultiChoice said that it does not approve of its users accessing content this way.
“We cannot condone customers accessing DStv Catch Up and SuperSport content outside of sub-Saharan Africa, as we have specific content rights agreements in place with content providers and sports administrators which restricts the geographic location that this content can be accessed,” a spokesperson for MultiChoice said.
Queried about how it will respond to the circumvention of its regional content restrictions, MultiChoice said that it has a unit in the company that deals with such matters.
“We have an investigative unit that looks into any potential abuse and copyright infringement, and takes the necessary action within the framework of the law,” MultiChoice said.