MultiChoice to 'freeze' DStv Premium prices - TechCentral

MultiChoice to ‘freeze’ DStv Premium prices

MultiChoice won’t hike the price of DStv Premium in 2019, reflecting the pressure the pay-television broadcaster is under at the top end of the market.

The company traditionally hikes its prices on 1 April each year but has elected this year to keep DStv Premium subscriptions unchanged at R809/month (excluding value-added services).

MultiChoice South Africa CEO Calvo Mawela told TechCentral in an interview in October 2018 that he is confident the company can arrest the decline in the number of lucrative DStv Premium bouquet customers on its books. He said at the time that rate of decline was already falling — from roughly 100 000 disconnections in the 2017 financial year to about 40 000 in 2018.

Other DStv packages will get a below-inflation increase in 2019, MultiChoice said on Monday, though it hasn’t provided details about those changes. TechCentral has asked MultiChoice for further details.

“We have a fantastic content line-up for the year ahead and would like as many customers as possible to be able to enjoy DStv,” it said in a statement.

“We understand that times are tough in South Africa, and that our customers are under pressure to make every cent they spend count. As such, we’re keeping DStv as affordable and accessible as possible to as many households as we can, to ensure they can enjoy great entertainment for their families.”

Streaming improvements

Mawela said in October that MultiChoice will stop the haemorrhaging of its premium client base by improving the content offering and its online products. These included improvements the company is making to Showmax — which is available free of charge to Premium subscribers — and to DStv Now, its online streaming option that provides live channels and Catch Up content.

“There is a lot of focus and investment going into our online offering to ensure we keep people in our ecosystem,” he said. This includes developing an online-only option — a “dishless” product — which will be launched in 2019.

MultiChoice is facing growing pressure at the premium end of the market, with consumers opting for online streaming services from international rivals such as Netflix.  — © 2019 NewsCentral Media