Pay TV

South Africa: Subscribers Still Can't Choose Their Preferred Channels On DSTV

Leading Pay-Tv operator, Multichoice South Africa is embracing several strategies that would help it deal with the “unregulated’ competition it faces from over-the-top (OTT) internet streaming services.

However, the company has said that despite all the strategies it will be deploying, allowing subscribers the opportunity to choose their preferred channels is not viable. In an interview, Calvo Mawela, MultiChoice SA’s Chief Executive said: “We are not open to doing that at all because of the model we have chosen to adopt as a company. This is how we have chosen to do business.”

Malewa said: “These proposals that people make are based on not proper knowledge of what’s happening in the industry. “We package channels to capture a wider audience. That way, we attract a number of wider viewers, so that viewership cost reduces because we are targeting a higher audience. Once you give subscribers the option to choose certain channels, the cost of viewership increases. If we have only 1000 people choosing to watch the PSL, we have to divide the cost among the 1000 subscribers, so it works out at much more.”

Malewa disagreed when he heard that subscribers have complained that DStv lacked variety and showed too many repeats.

Malewa said: “If you watch DStv,  you will notice a huge improvement in how we package channels. We are getting complaints from our subscribers that we don't repeat some of our movies as much as they want. How we do this is that when new content comes in, we look at opportunities for different viewers to be able to enjoy it. We can't just show it once and then replace it with new stuff in all the time. When we try to package it through repeats, opportunities arise for people who missed the first run to be able to catch up another time.”

“It’s in our DNA to be innovative, and that's what we have done. We have Catch Up, Box Office, we have also launched Showmax, DStv Now, and other streaming services. We will continue to innovate and put out the best content for our viewers. We produce the best local content which makes us second to none. Our sports production is one the best in the world," Mawela said.

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