The only reason DStv continues to grow and make money is sport and local content, Wayne McCurrie from FNB Wealth and Investments said.
Speaking to Business Day TV, McCurrie said MultiChoice would struggle to compete against Netflix, YouTube, and other streaming services without sport and local content.
MultiChoice’s excellent SuperSport offering has been the main reason most people subscribed to DStv Premium.
However, despite its exclusivity on many top South African sporting events, DStv Premium lost subscribers over the past few years.
The loss in DStv Premium subscribers results from increased competition from streaming providers.
Apart from superior and more affordable offerings from Netflix and Amazon Prime Video for entertainment, sports streaming has also become more accessible.
The impact of streaming providers is so significant that MultiChoice described it as an “existential competitive threat” to DStv.
“We consider providers like Netflix, YouTube, Disney+, HBO Now, and Peacock to be an existential competitive threat,” MultiChoice said.
In response to the onslaught from streaming providers, DStv partnered with Netflix, Amazon Prime, and YouTube to offer it through its DStv Explora decoders.
MultiChoice CEO Calvo Mawela said their strategy is to make DStv a one-stop-shop where you pay one bill and get access to all streaming content, including Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and YouTube.
MultiChoice is also offering standalone DStv streaming packages. Pricing starts at R29 per month for an EasyView subscription and increases to R699 per month for a Premium package.
To further enhance its streaming offering, MultiChoice launched Showmax Pro in July 2020, offering a selection of live sport alongside the TV series and movies.
MultiChoice is clearly aware that it has to respond to the threat from streaming providers, which is why its recent streaming limitation threat is perplexing.
DStv warned subscribers that from 22 March 2022, they will be limited to streaming DStv on one device at a time.
MultiChoice South Africa CEO Nyiko Shiburi said they understand that some customers might not be happy with this change.
“Our main aim of the change is to address password-sharing fraud and piracy, which is a challenge faced by streaming providers around the world,” he said.
The reality is that many DStv subscribers bought the service because it allows live streaming to multiple devices.
It is particularly relevant to DStv streaming packages, where each family member can live stream content on their own device.
The new rules will prevent live streaming on multiple devices simultaneously. It therefore artificially cripples the service and punishes legitimate DStv subscribers.
Sunstrike Capital CEO Waheed Swales said MultiChoice may have blundered with its new DStv streaming restrictions.
“Economically, they’re banking on the fact that they will somehow increase the number of DStv subscriptions by limiting the number of concurrent streams to one,” he said.
“However, all it’s doing is making people feel a lot less justified in maintaining a DStv subscription,” he said.
With the multitude of legal and illegal streaming platforms available, MultiChoice runs the risk of its subscribers migrating to these competitors. – Mybroadband