Multichoice Gives An Estimate Of Number of Subscribers on NetFlix in South Africa

MultiChoice has revealed that video-on-demand platform, Netflix, has an estimated subscriber base that ranges between 300,000 and 400,000 in South Africa since its launch in January 2016.

Netflix however, does not break down its international subscriber numbers by country.

CEO of MultiChoice South Africa Calvo Mawela considers this number as significant in two and a half years.

Mawela made the statement while warning Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) against over-regulating the pay-TV operators in South Africa.

He is worried about the stiff regulations placed on the pay-TV by the regulatory body despite the intense competition DStv now faces due to the entry of services like Netflix and other strong global companies.

Mawela said trying to regulate the market to break the exclusivity, and first-air rights of MultiChoice has will, therefore, hand South Africa’s pay TV sector to foreign brands.

Multichoice reported in its most recent interim results that DStv grew its subscriber base in South Africa by 278,000 users in the last six months ending 30 September 2017.

Mawela said the DStv’s subscriber base that is showing growth is on the company’s lower-tier, lower-margin packages like DStv Access and by comparison, MultiChoice lost over 100,000 DStv Premium subscribers in its last financial year.

Mawela, therefore, urged ICASA to treat online and traditional broadcast services the same way when it comes to regulation adding that Netflix and Amazon should be required to obtain a broadcast licence, pay taxes in South Africa, and comply with the classification regulations of the FPB.

Netflix in response said several third-party companies arrive at estimates of its per-country subscribers outside the US, but it is “total guesswork.”

While it refused to comment on estimate multichoice gave, Netflix said it is happy with its performance in the region.

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