DStv Extra tightens pay-TV hold - TechCentral

DStv Extra tightens pay-TV hold


DStv parent MultiChoice has launched a new bouquet of channels, its sixth, called DStv Extra, which includes 86 channels covering entertainment, news and sport. It does not include any high-definition channels.

Priced at R380/month, DStv Extra is positioned between the broadcaster’s most expensive Premium package, which includes 119 channels and costs R625/month, and its Compact package, which is made up of 73 channels and costs R275/month.

The new bouquet includes the sports channels Supersport Blitz and Supersport 3 and Supersport 4, which broadcast on local and international football. It excludes rugby-focused channel SuperSport 1.

DStv Extra was rolled out on Wednesday, but has only been advertised to existing subscribers. A public campaign will follow, according to MultiChoice.

SuperSport 3 and 4 are the central points of an competitor complaint brought against MultiChoice by rival operator TopTV’s holding company, On Digital Media (ODM), earlier this year. ODM has accused MultiChoice and its subsidiary, SuperSport, of anticompetitive behaviour.

The complaint shows TopTV requested access to SuperSport 3 and 4, which broadcast Premier Soccer League (PSL) and other football games. SuperSport secured exclusive rights to PSL matches in 2011 for a five-year period.

Although SuperSport appeared to be open, at least at first, to the idea of providing the channels on commercial terms to ODM, it later backtracked on this, with the smaller operator suggesting pressure had come from parent MultiChoice not to make the channels available.

DStv’s new Extra package adds 13 channels to those offered by the Compact bouquet, including BBC Entertainment, Comedy Central, E! Entertainment, KykNet, History Channel, VH1 Classic and Sky News.  — (c) 2013 NewsCentral Media

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