MultiChoice testing a cheaper DStv Premium subscription as it unbundled it’s services

South African pay-TV broadcaster MultiChoice is testing a cheaper DStv Premium subscription which will unbundle its sports and premium movie channels from the rest of the package, TV journalist Thinus Ferreira has reported.

MultiChoice is currently gauging interest in a new DStv Flex option that will see subscribers paying a compulsory R299 per month for an Entertainment Pack, including 67 DStv Premium channels.

This will comprise several of the service’s popular general entertainment and movie channels, kids channels, lifestyle and documentary channels, news and weather channels, music channels, and free-to-air channels.

Subscribers would then be given the option to add one of three sports packages that include different combinations of SuperSport and ESPN channels on the DStv bouquet.

Two of these sports packs cost R349 per month each.

Sports Pack 1 includes football and all other sports channels, except for rugby, cricket, and the Grandstand channels, while Sports Pack 2 includes Rugby and all other sport, not including football, ESPN, or the Grandstand channel.

The third sport package includes all sports channels, including Grandstand, for R499 per month.

While the latter might still be expensive as it would cost a total of R798 per month with the basic R299 fee, the big benefit will be that customers will have the option to switch these packages on and off in any month using the DStv Now app.

This gives them the financial freedom to pay when their favourite tournaments or events are happening or to drop the package when none of their favourite sports is in season while continuing to enjoy DStv’s other content at a fraction of the standard DStv Premium of R829.

Ferreira also provided an infographic on the package, which shows exactly what channels will be included in the Entertainment Pack and Sports Packs.

There is also an option to switch on a premium Movie Pack for R99 per month, similar to the premium movie add-on already available for DStv Compact, Compact Plus, Family, and Access subscribers.

The add-on for DStv Flex will be focused on “first on TV” movie releases and will include at least two movie channels from M-Net Movies 1, M-Net Movies 2 and fliekNET.

The infographic shows that DStv Flex packages will be available on either a DStv decoder or via a streaming-only package, which will require an Internet connection with a minimum line speed of 4Mbps.

The table below shows what each package would offer and what the total cost would be if taken with the compulsory basic package.

DStv Flex structure

Basic Entertainment Package (R299)

67 entertainment, movie, lifestyle, documentary, kids, news, music, and religious channels

Optional add-ons (month-to-month)

Sport Pack 1 (R349)

  • SuperSport EPL
  • SuperSport PSL
  • SuperSport Football
  • SuperSport Golf
  • SuperSport Motorsport
  • SuperSport Action
  • Supersport La Liga
  • Supersport Tennis
  • Supersport Variety 1-4
  • ESPN
  • ESPN 2

Sport Pack 2 (R349)

  • SuperSport Rugby
  • SuperSport Cricket
  • SuperSport Golf
  • SuperSport Motorsport
  • SuperSport Action
  • Supersport Tennis
  • Supersport Variety 1-4
  • ESPN

Sport Pack 3 (R499)

  • SuperSport Grandstand
  • SuperSport Rugby
  • SuperSport Cricket
  • SuperSport EPL
  • SuperSport PSL
  • SuperSport Football
  • SuperSport Golf
  • SuperSport Motorsport
  • SuperSport Action
  • Supersport La Liga
  • Supersport Tennis
  • Supersport Variety 1-4
  • ESPN
  • ESPN 2

Movie Pack (R99)

  • M-Net Movies 1
  • M-Net Movies 2
  • fliekNET

The move appears to be an attempt by MultiChoice to stop the exodus of DStv Premium subscribers who have increasingly adopted cheaper video streaming services in recent years.

According to Ferreira, MultiChoice has asked former DStv Premium subscribers whether they feel that DStv Flex and the optional packages make an attractive offering.

The broadcaster wants to know if the participants feel that the sports add-ons appeal to different types of sports lovers and if they would add on one of the sports packages if offered as an option to a basic subscription.

“MultiChoice’s new calculus is premised on the idea that if sport, and rugby as a content subset, were a separate add-on package, then at least some DStv subscribers would choose to remain subscribed to a basic entertainment package during the part of the year when certain sports or championships are out of season and not taking place,” Ferreira explained.

“Subscribers would just cancel the sports add-on and keep the rest of the premium bouquet of general entertainment content – instead of leaving entirely or downgrading to a lower-tiered DStv bouquet,” he added.

Should MultiChoice go ahead with the change, it would be a big shift from its previous stance that it was impossible to unbundle its sports offering from the rest of its packages.

International pay-TV operators like the UK’s Sky have already adopted these types of subscription models, offering a basic package to which sports, movies, and streaming services can be added.

MyBroadband contacted MultiChoice for comment on how former DStv Premium subscribers have responded to the package.

The company said it was “constantly striving to provide its customers with the best possible content offering”.

“As such, we continually assess our offering and conduct regular research to test different products and services for our customers,” MultiChoice said.

Author: Staff Writer

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *