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September 1st, 2017 by


Who remembers TopTV? The brand’s reputation was eviscerated a few years ago when they launched a couple of porn channels, suffered severe customer service complaints and promised a PVR decoder which never saw the light of day. Adding to that, customers experienced billing system and debit order problems, a waning channel line-up (with no premium TV channels) and channels which abruptly vanished while you were watching.

A relaunch of TopTV to StarSat was supposed to rescue the whole operation, but alas…

This has left DStv as the sole digital satellite service still running in South Africa… But are they headed the same way as TopTV, and if so, how can they rescue it?

DStv’s Fight For Survival

DStv’s problems aren’t quite the same as TopTV’s were. We here at Compare Guru, recently posed the question – will DStv soon be a thing of the past? In this, we highlighted customer dissatisfaction with DStv’s repetitive programming and the complete futility of their Box Office while live streaming remains such a budding industry.

Just take a look at Netflix.

Digital Terrestrial Television has also become the global alternative to analogue television. South Africa isn’t quite there yet – because the rest of the planet makes their way all around the solar system while we’re still trying to get our pants on. However, it’s only a matter of time.

The aim of DTT would be to provide users with a variety of different channels at no additional cost, which would throw a broomstick through MultiChoice’s bicycle spokes.

This change would increase usage in online channels. People could afford a better, faster internet connection because they won’t be paying for all-day every-day Kardashian regurgitations.

Also, all analogue TVs are able to transfer to digital. All you need is a digital set-top box (what the US calls a cable box), which gives you access to digital channels, free of charge.

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05062017 CTAs 01 10 - What Will DStv Do To Survive?

What’s DStv Doing?

Heard of DStv Now? It’s the live streaming mobile option for DStv subscribers. You can watch live sports or series on your phone or laptop, and it recently broke live streaming records with the Mayweather / McGregor fight.

Previously, you’d have to have a full Premium subscription, but now the service is available to Premium, Compact Plus and Compact customers.

You may be asking, why is that better than streaming anything you want for free from websites? Well… Uhm… You’ve got us there.

You may also be wondering what Compact Plus is. DStv recently renamed their Extra package to Compact Plus. This change is set to eliminate any confusion between the Extra package and the company’s XtraView service which allows customers to connect more than one decoder under one subscription.

We know. It’s absolutely riveting stuff. They’re changing the whole game. Nothing will ever be the same again. MultiChoice has also announced a special surprise for their Compact customers. From 1 September, Compact customers will get a chance to try out Compact Plus at no additional cost for the whooooole month.

Well, that’s nice of them. We know that Compact users have been craving that KykNET for some time now. Elsewhere, MultiChoice Zambia have announced price reductions on their packages a few days ago, which is great if you live in Zambia.

“We recognize that our customers are living in changing economic times and want to reward them for their ongoing loyalty and support by providing them with the best local and international content” stated MultiChoice Zambia Acting Managing Director Ngoza Matakala.

We also want price reductions.

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The Saving Grace

Netflix competitor, Showmax, is a video on demand service. You can watch whatever you want, whenever you want. According to industry sources, Showmax is being integrated into DStv.

It’s expected that their services will become available on DStv’s digital platforms, with further speculation that there might be a bundling of Showmax with DStv subscriptions.

This may also mean that content previously exclusive to DStv will now be available through a video streaming package. This means no satellite TV subscription. Naspers may also plan a full merger of Showmax into MultiChoice. Spokespeople for both companies have confirmed that collaboration was an option.

Will this, coupled with Supersport (which is genuinely one of the best sport bouquets in the world) give MultiChoice the edge over its competitors? Perhaps a better route would be to address their key failings.

  • Allow subscribers to cherry-pick a select number of channels.
  • Let sports fans have a sports package.
  • Let the people choose what they want to watch.
  • Stop repeating the same old programmes over and over.
  • Do away with wildly unpopular channels to ease the cost of content and lower the subscription rates.

Simple, right? Right.

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  • Simple, right? So why are they still screwing me over for 95% of content I neither need, nor watch. Oh that’s right, they’re owned by NASty PERSons.

  • Nig Duv

    Top little too late, very well written article and exactly what is the problem with DSTV. They should become a full on subscription streaming service over the Internet and charge realistic prices to stream their Sports package. This is the future of TV watching what contect you want, when you want to watch it without thousands of adverts and repeats

  • marilyn

    They have done nothing about all the repeat programmmes and WHO watches the Kardashians??? As for The Big Bang Theory, Friends, Will and Grace……! How many times have these been repeated?

  • Ashley Crookes

    DSTV are complete ripoffs. They’ve held their customers to ransom for far too long, now they’re going to start feeling the pinch. Showmax??? What a joke! Their programs are years behind, I’ve complained and they have done nothing. I can stream with other services, or I can buy dvd’s of my favourite shows that are released sooner than their content! I used to love Netflix when I was in America – DSTV? I don’t subscribe.