There are waves of changes coming across the DStv platform in the next few weeks such as price changes, channel revamps, and a controversial streaming adjustment.
MultiChoice is facing increased pressure from a growing number of video streaming services, which have started to eat into its Premium subscriber base. The pay-TV broadcaster is looking to place more focus on its mid and lower-end customers as they believe this strategy will give it an edge in locally-appealing movies and TV shows that international content providers will find challenging to offer.
Here are all of the confirmed changes coming to the DStv platform in the next few weeks as the company is hoping to expand its subscriber base across Africa.
There will be a price increment on DStv packages starting from 1 April, 2022, the start of its new financial year. The broadcaster said the adjustments came after a period of “increased value offerings” in its local and international general entertainment and sports content, DStv Internet, and DStv Rewards.
It claimed it had absorbed as much of the increase of the cost of doing business as possible to implement minimal increases.
From 1 April 2022, eMovies, eMovies Extra, eExtra, and eToonz will be axed, following a renewed channel supply agreement between MultiChoice and Media. Among the new channels is kids-oriented DreamWorks, launching on 18 March.
DreamWorks will be available on channel 304 on DStv Premium, Compact Plus, and Compact. DStv Family and Access subscribers will be able to access the channel for a limited open window period until 18 April. The KIX movie channel (DStv 114) will also become available on all packages except EasyView from 31 March. Another as-yet unconfirmed movie channel is also in the pipeline.
While many countries have opted to suspend the Russian state-funded channel due to the country’s invasion of Ukraine, MultiChoice has explained that this was not due to its own decision but rather the global provider of the channel, which pulled the plug following EU sanctions.
To clamp down on password sharing, MultiChoice will be imposing a strict single-stream limit from 22 March 2022 across all its packages in Africa.
A second user can still watch pre-downloaded content while another is streaming. Previously, subscribers were able to watch live TV on up to four different devices simultaneously in addition to a TV connected to a decoder.
The change won’t affect viewing on decoders, which means DStv customers can still watch on up to three decoders on a single subscription using XtraView, in conjunction with one viewer on a streaming device.
Showmax subscribers are also not affected by the change. Nevertheless, the severe limitation has caused an uproar among DStv subscribers, with threats of a boycott on social media.
The single-stream limit seems unreasonable compared to MultiChoice’s highly successful competitors like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, and overseas live sports streaming services.