By Myles Illidge for MyBroadband
MultiChoice’s dreaded DStv streaming changes take effect from 22 March. Subscribers will only be able to stream content on one device at a time.
The broadcaster has updated its FAQs for its app to reflect the changes.
“Each DStv subscription allows you to stream on one app at a time. This means you can use the app on a maximum of four devices, with management of the devices done on the app,” its FAQ page says.
MultiChoice announced the change a month ago, stating that the limit would kick in on 22 March 2022.
The streaming limit applies to all its packages across Africa. Subscribers may still watch pre-downloaded content while someone else is streaming.
MultiChoice’s decision caused an uproar among DStv subscribers, with some threatening to boycott the broadcaster.
Many DStv subscribers also threatened to cancel their subscriptions when the changes kick in.
“I’ve had DStv since 2004, but I’m going to cancel my subscription because you are only allowing one device to stream at a time,” one DStv subscriber said.
“Well, that’s the end of my DStv subscription. DStv content quality is poor, and other streaming services are available at a fraction of the cost,” said another.
DStv’s single-stream limitation is much more restrictive than other major streaming services.
Competitors like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and international sports streaming services offer multiple concurrent streams.
A MyBroadband analysis of sports streaming services revealed that DStv was the only platform to limit streaming to one device.
The decision was also strange because it compromises DStv’s streaming-only offerings — for which pricing has not been adjusted.
DStv’s streaming-only products are priced similarly to its decoder subscriptions, but decoder-based customers can now watch on their TVs and one other device. They also have the option of XtraView.
MultiChoice has highlighted that it reduced the price of DStv Premium streaming with a R699 per month special. However, this is only available for new subscribers and only lasts for the first three months.
The broadcaster previously said that it had made the decision to address the challenges of piracy and password sharing.
“We will not limit the number of people using a login, however, we are limiting the number of people who can stream at the same time,” MultiChoice explained.
“Password sharing and piracy are challenges for streaming providers globally,” it stated.
“As part of our ongoing efforts to counteract password sharing and piracy, while continuing to bring you the best viewing experience, we will be introducing measures to limit concurrent streaming.”