You can subscribe to at least eight prominent streaming services in South Africa for R699, the same monthly price as DStv’s special offer on a streaming-only Premium package.
The country’s biggest pay-TV broadcaster recently launched a promotion that allows new customers to take up DStv Premium streaming without the ability to use a decoder or satellite to access the service for much less than the standard going rate.
According to the promotion, the price will return to the regular R829 after three months.
MyBroadband readers have previously asked the broadcaster to launch a discounted streaming-only DStv Premium package, as many already had a fast Internet connection at home.
Video entertainment analysts also said DStv had an excellent opportunity to win back subscribers through a lower Premium price for a streaming-only service, given that it would be able to cut costs on certain expenses related to providing decoders and satellite coverage.
Either these cost-savings weren’t realised, or DStv wanted to avoid cannibalising its satellite subscriber base (and profits), as it unveiled its streaming-only offering at the same R829 price as the standard Premium subscription.
The R230 discount is a welcome step in the right direction, but MyBroadband’s analysis of competing streaming services’ prices illustrated why cash-strapped viewers are cancelling their DStv subscriptions.
MyBroadband has heard from sports-mad South Africans who in the past couldn’t do without SuperSport that they have given up weekends filled with live sports in favour of watching highlights online.
When there is a major game on, they instead visit a restaurant showing the game.
This anecdote is supported by data from MultiChoice’s latest interim results, which showed that it continued to bleed DStv Premium subscribers, despite the return of live sports after global Covid-19 lockdowns were lifted.
The table below summarises the various streaming services available in South Africa that you can buy for the price of DStv Premium. Netflix Standard and Premium subscriptions recently received a price hike, while the price of Amazon Prime Video was localised to rand.
|Popular streaming services available in South Africa|
|Amazon Prime Video||R79|
|TelkomOne||Free (with ads)|
|Total monthly price||R651|
This combination of streaming services will give you many more hours of movies and TV shows to watch than what is available on DStv on its own, in addition to some of its content that is on Showmax.
You will have to factor in the cost of an Internet package in either event.
An entry-level 20Mbps or 25Mbps uncapped fibre package or a 10Mbps uncapped MTN fixed-LTE or Rain 5G connection now costs around R499 per month.
Several international streaming services not yet available in South Africa could present even stiffer competition for DStv when they do launch here.
Disney+ is set to launch in South Africa between June and August 2022.
ViacomCBS also recently pulled shows like Star Trek Discovery from Netflix in preparation for the international launch of Paramount+. Of note is that Star Trek Discovery is no longer available on Netflix in South Africa.
While DStv faces stiff competition in movies and TV shows, SuperSport remains the undisputed leader in live sports in South Africa.
MultiChoice has made some sports available through Showmax Pro, but many of SuperSport’s most popular offerings are still only available on DStv Premium.
DStv’s firm grasp on sports rights could be slipping, however.
Recently, Amazon Prime Video got the exclusive rights in the UK and Ireland to stream 17 of the 20 Autumn Nations Series matches, including the Springboks’ end-of-year tour.
While this excluded broadcasting games involving the Irish squad in Ireland, the trend is clear. Sporting bodies will likely be looking more at streaming services for revenue in the future.
Given that these corporate giants will be able to pay more than MultiChoice, it could be only a matter of time before more high-profile tournaments and events make their way to the likes of Prime Video.