'DStv Lite' to counter TopTV threat - TechCentral

‘DStv Lite’ to counter TopTV threat

Broadcaster MultiChoice will on Friday unveil details of a new bouquet, DStv Lite, that it is launching to counter the threat posed by this weekend’s launch of On Digital Media’s TopTV service, TechCentral has learnt.

TopTV is the first of three new licensees to launch a rival service to incumbent MultiChoice’s DStv, which has enjoyed a monopoly in satellite-based pay-TV services for the past 15 years.

According to sources, MultiChoice plans to charge in the region of R99/month for the new service, putting it in direct competition with the basic bouquet of 24 channels offered by TopTV, whose entry-level offering also retails for R99/month.

It’s not yet clear which channels MultiChoice will offer on its DStv Lite bouquet, but the move is believed to be a direct response to the commercial launch of TopTV this Saturday, 1 May.

MultiChoice spokesman Fathima Ebrahim won’t provide details of the DStv Lite package, saying only that more details will be released to the media by 9am on Friday morning.

The Naspers-owned pay-TV operator is also planning to announce details of its upcoming video-on-demand (VOD) service soon. It has called a media conference for next Tuesday at which it is expected to provide details of the VOD offering.

TechCentral reported in February that MultiChoice is considering launching a video rental service using its personal video recorder (PVR) decoders. Instead of renting movies on DVD or Blu-ray disc, MultiChoice will provide the service via satellite to subscribers with PVRs.

Until now, this functionality has only been available to users of MultiChoice’s standard-definition PVR, though the company has been hard at work with software updates to ensure it also works on PVRs capable of receiving and playing back high-definition content.

Known as transactional VOD, the service will compete directly with video stores, which have historically had access to the latest movies several months before they are made available to pay-TV operators.

MultiChoice conducted research earlier this year into how much its customers would use the service, and, if so, how much they’d be prepared to pay for it.  — Duncan McLeod, TechCentral


  1. if DSTV Lite includes Cartoon Network and at least 2 movie channels, I’ll subscribe. Heh.

    Also, yes, I was wondering when they were planning on offering the pay-per-view stuff. Bit of competition with the DVD rental market, though – if it’s not R20 or less a movie (and if they can’t get stuff ahead of the stores), I don’t really see it taking off.

    Wasn’t there some or other local online movie rental thingy? Ottovod? What happened to them?

    ~ Wogan

  2. hi there if they could make it that you could choose what channels you want or if you could pay extra per exstra channel you want.

  3. So now MonoChoice decides to catch a wakeup, will the ZAR99 MonoChoice package be comprised of two token SuperSport channels…?

  4. Just goes to show that DSTV are SOB’s. They have milked us for 15 years seeing that there is no competition in SA for them, but when there is a possibility of losing customers, which I am one, then they want to change their offerings. The only problem is that TopTv is also not a real option. A lot of religions crap that you can get for free on some satellite services.

    At the end of the day, I want to select the channels that I want to watch and only pay for them. Currently I watch about 8 channels max, of DSTV, but I’ve got to pay R500 a month for them.

    Please, we need more choice in what we see!

  5. If they have Supersport 1 & 2 and Mnet – I will take it – or else Top TV here I come>>>

  6. Could MonoChoice be brave enough to put a couple of sports channels in the lite package? I think not. While I would love them to prove me wrong, I really doubt that this package will actually have anything noteworthy in it.

  7. I was at first intrigued, but now I can’t see it making a dent.
    Supersport & Mnet are multichoice channels…. I can’t see them giving that to the competition. Multichoice doesn’t even give that to their compact packages.
    Most people go for DSTV for the sport.
    I don’t see TopTV getting sport broadcasting contracts like Supersport.
    Supersport has an infrastructure of vans, cameras, journo’s photographers that go to the matches, and film as per contracts with the sport franchsies.
    How is TopTV going to do that?
    If you look at the junk that DSTV Lite has on offer – and they reckon that will put a lid on the competition – then TopTV doesn’t seem to be bringing in anything fantastic.

  8. I agree with angelina. I am on the compact package and still not much that I want to watch. As for the two soccer SS channels. Hell please! We want to watch sport like F1 and Motorcross…..Happy to pay per channel that will work for me….or else

  9. Looking at MonoChoices DStv Compact package, how crapy it is, can you imagine what DStv Lite will be? I say, They can shove it ! Top TV take me I’m yours.

  10. Welcome on board TOPTV. Instead of having TV2 will subscribe to you guys at an extra R45.00 to what am currently paying. Will definitely have both just for fun!!

  11. Danie Badenhorst on

    If I have to pick my channels it would be:
    Kyknet, Discovery, mm1, mm2, action, unich, home, tsn, natgeo, animal, and that is it .I do not need all the other channels
    Now I pay +-R500 for this.
    If DSTV could charge R25/R35 per Chanel choisen il’e be happy.
    If it was not for KYKNET i wil drop dstv today, o ja I wil mis my PVR but with a LG-Pvr conected I can Pause or Rew.Live Tv.
    Margate KZN

  12. I agree, it’s about choice,choice,choice.Supersport 1,2 included.My dstv has been cancelled for bout a year now.I’m just waiting 2 c what multichoice is planning because I’m almost 90%sure of going to top tv.

    I’m watching the rugby at the Dros while having a few beers for the last year anyway, so dstv wake up please.Your intro package is called Castle Light or what????????You were weighed and found too LIGHT

  13. No movie magic channels or super sport? Who in their right mind is going to pay R99.00 per month for this when they can get far better on TopTV for the same price?

  14. lufuno mutshekwa on


    Ndi ri kha i de mani, khuvhani ro vha ri tshi khou ko ko dza u vhavha, arali havha na bola, movies, na gospel, yo tanganedzwa.

  15. That’s what I like about competition. For year DSTV monopolised the subscriber market and were really kicking our butts with their prices. NOw they want to appear as if they have the interests of payers at heart with their reduced prices. what a shame that i am still stuck with them because Toptv does not really offer any sensible sports channels and my three year old son would kill be if his BBse could magically disappear from the screen.

  16. I couldnt agree less with most of you guys. A question can be asked: What took them so long to realise that they had to cater for all markets? Seing that Top TV is giving them a run for their money they act like they have the willingness to provide services to all. I doubt.

  17. Concerned Husband on

    MonoChoice’s reign is over. TOP TV here I come, or at least till I manage to convince the MRS. She just won’t hear it. I’ve tried them all from flowrs to chocolate. Has anyone seen how TOP TV looks? She is into movies, and is happy with MM1 & 2, now I wonder how well the TOP TV movie channels match up. If you ask me, MonoChoice’s movies are just way too outdated!!!

  18. What will be the cost to change over from Dstv to TopTv,will one require the full installation with dish etc.

  19. Shaakir Ismail on

    Yes, DSTV has taken all of SA for a ride for a long time, but who is at fault here.
    DSTV is like the devil. He does not tell you what to do, but whispers suggestion, and all the current DSTV subscribers is to blame.
    I for one refused to pay R500 a month for absolute max 10 channels I would watch. If you look at all the free-to-air crap DSTV is shoving down your throats and selling it ’80 world class channel’ – please !!!
    So if everyone just cancelled their DSTV and said we want pay-per-channel or you can shove it, then they would have no choice but to give in.
    I have personally written to DSTV numerous times to ask for this, but alone they don’t even read my mails.

    I’m happy we FINALLY have some competition in this country. Yes sure TopTV looks bit crappy for now. Same free-to-air crappy channels bundled as their offering. But so too DSTV was when they started. And DSTV is playing hardball holding onto their Supersport rights, because they know it’s their only drawcard. Hopefully TopTV will go from strenght to strenght, and more people will switch over to them. They too still not offering pay-per-channel option – jeesh one would think it’s rocket science – but indeed it’s to fund all them crappy channels no one wants but put in there to make up the numbers.

    So if you want better service, bite the bullet – and the kids tantrums – and cancel your DSTV. I’m not saying run to TopTV, but make it clear pay-per-channel is what we want. Only then the pay TV opertors will take note. But if we can’t do without it and want it now, they will be smiling all the way to the bank, and we will still be moaning here 15yrs later.

  20. Mike(Cape Town) on

    The pay-per-channel option is the best route for the survival of satellite TV! Wake up DSTV…just for the sake of the kiddies good Ceebeebies, which i believe you can get on DVD now…i am considering cancelling SOON!

  21. DSTV have become like ESCOM – milking the subsriber for useless services. I will go the TOPTV route.

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