Source: The South African
The MultiChoice Group recently signed agreements to offer Netflix and Amazon streaming services through its next-generation Explora personal video recorder (PVR) decoder.
According to TechCentral, MultiChoice published a presentation on its website detailing its 2020 financial results and revealed that it has launched field trials of its standalone DStv Streaming product — which is expected to be launched soon — and signed the Explora deals with Netflix and Amazon.
While MultiChoice already runs its own subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) streaming service Showmax, its latest 2019/2020 financial results revealed that subscribers to the service are at 19.5 million – which is a 5% increase from the previous year. South Africa still represents MultiChoice’s biggest and most powerful market, with 8.4 million pay-TV households, while the rest of Africa combined represents 11.1 million households. MultiChoice added that over the last financial year it has produced 3 850 additional hours of local content with its local content library that now exceeds 56 800 hours. This means local content now accounts for 40% of its total content spend.
“We have long been a content aggregator, and this is proof of our aggregator model at work – providing simplicity, choice and convenience for our customers,” says Calvo Mawela, MultiChoice CEO.
“As our industry evolves, we believe that we are well-positioned to benefit from both worlds – a large, growing pay-TV market in Africa, as well as an emerging over-the-top (OTT) opportunity, where our own OTT services and aggregation capabilities can drive success.”
According to My Broadband, MultiChoice’s annual results for the year also showed a continued decline in Premium subscribers.
MultiChoice combined Premium and Compact Plus into a single category for the purposes of showing year-over-year subscriber decline of 4% or 100 000 subscribers in the region. Growth was affected by one-off sports events in the prior year and some country-specific issues.
By Lungelo Matangira for EWN
Over 100 000 people have signed an online petition calling for pay-TV provider DStv to cut its prices for South Africa, as it does for other African countries, especially during the coronavirus pandemic.
The petition, launched by Sifiso Gwala a week ago, had 109 016 signatures by midday on Wednesday afternoon.
“DStv drops prices for the rest of Africa except South Africa and now this. We’re being taken for granted here #DstvMustFall,” Gwala said in the petition.
In 2019, DStv cut prices in a number of African countries such as Kenya and Nigeria. This, however, has never happened in South Africa.
Now, amid job losses, salary cuts and struggling businesses during the lockdown, South Africans want the same to happen for local subscribers.
“Prices are too high, can’t afford it” and “we must choose the channels we want”, said some supporters.
DStv is yet to respond to the petition.
By Jamie McKane for MyBroadband
DStv Now has made a selection of channels available to all South Africans for free.
DStv Now is an online streaming service which is bundled with DStv’s satellite broadcasting service, and allows subscribers to watch TV and shows from mobile devices, smart TVs, laptops, and more.
The new free channel package is available to all South Africans, however, and not only DStv subscribers.
The company said that in response to the coronavirus outbreak in South Africa, a number of DStv Now channels are no longer locked behind a subscription and are available to anyone with an Internet connection.
DStv channels which are now available to stream for free are:
100 – DStv
180 – People’s Weather
238 – SuperSport Play
313 – PBS Kids
320 – Channel O
343 – TBN
400 – BBC World News
401 – CNN
402 – Sky News
403 – eNCA
404 – SABC News
405 – Newzroom Afrika
414 – Euronews Now
Staying informed about the latest news on the virus is the first step in stopping its spread, said the company. For this reason, it has made several 24-hour news channels available.
In addition to these channels, episodes of popular series are also available via the Catch Up portal on the free service, including Igazi, The River, Isibaya, Binnelanders, Suidooster, and Die Ware Naarheid.
DStv has announced pricing increases on some of its packages for 2020, while others will remain at the previous year’s prices.
The updated fees, will take effect from 1 April, are as follows:
- DStv Premium – a R10.00 (1.24%) price increase
- Compact Plus – a R10.00 (1.93%) increase
- There will be no increase for Compact subscribers
Premium subscribers declined to 20% from 22% in the previous financial year, due to tough economic times and stiff competition from international video streaming services.
Meanwhile, a recent poll run by BusinessTech found that around 13% of South Africans were willing to cut access to services like DStv to cut costs each month.
Multiple DStv subscribers have reported issues with their monthly bills, contacting MyBroadband and taking to social media to voice their frustration.
A DStv subscriber who contacted MyBroadband stated that his debit order for his monthly subscription is meant to be R939.
Last month, however, he was billed R2,607. He said he contacted MultiChoice about the incorrect deduction, who promised to address the issue and refund him.
However, his latest bill was R1,748 for the month – which was again too high.
The reader then mailed MyBroadband to share his story, and stated that he has not received a resolution from MultiChoice.
Many users have also complained online about the DStv billing issues, and expressed anger at the matter not being resolved.
Hellopeter, Twitter, and Facebook host scores of complaints – examples of which are below.
Although my package type hasn’t changed for 20 years, suddenly my amount due is four times the normal debit order amount.
I called the call centre and an agent advised it would be resolved, and guess what it has not. Now when I speak with a supervisor suddenly I have multiple accounts and it will be escalated again.
Another complaint stated:
I’ve been with them since December 2018, and have had almost monthly problems with my bill. But December 2019 was the worst. On 24/10/2019, my account balance was R389 and then on 25/11/2019 it had jumped to R1,800.
I’m not getting any proper explanation as to how they got to that amount in that space of time.
MultiChoice fixing issue
MultiChoice told MyBroadband it recently consolidated all services on a customer’s account for easier billing.
“Customers now also have the flexibility of being able to add services or upgrade their package during the month, and only pay for those changes on their next payment date,” it said.
“We are continuously working on sorting out any customer issues, including billing. We apologise to all customers inconvenienced and vow to speedily resolve any problems they are experiencing.”
“It must be noted that most of the billing problems have been resolved successfully,” said MultiChoice.
By Tom Head for The South African
If you’re a subscriber to the network, take note. At least five major DStv scams have been identified this year: here’s how to play it safe.
‘Tis the season to be cautious, folks. There are a myriad of DStv scams waiting to trip-up some unsuspecting victims this Christmas. The network have confirmed that a number of schemes have already been detected, and bosses have raced to warn South Africans about the dangers they face.
It isn’t just the technophobes and boomers that are getting duped by the sophisticated rouses, either. These DStv scams have caught-out people across the board. But what do we need to look out for?
The gift card phishing scam
Customers receive an email informing them that they’ve won a cash gift card or huge sums of prize money from a MultiChoice competition. However, targets are then asked to provide personal details in order to claim the prize. It’ll be for a competition you definitely didn’t enter, so please, don’t hand any of your information out.
The “final notice” SMS scam
Some DStv customers have received an SMS claiming to be from DStv demanding payment for a DStv Explora account. It threatens action if payment is not made today and includes banking details. However, the network do not send such crudely-worded communications. You can contact them to find out the status of your account if you feel unsure.
Recruiting for social media jobs
There are dangerous scams disguised as recruitment ads for MultiChoice. One of the most popular ones offers applicants the chance to be driven to an interview. MultiChoice does not offer such a service, under any circumstances. Use the Afrizan website to verify any offers.
The DStv Premiem upgrade scam
Opportunists are contacting customers – via email or telephone- and offering them DStv Premium for a fixed once-off fee per yea, where the customer pays the fee directly to the scammer. Customers are asked to disregard such offers, and they are asked to refrain from letting a third-party upgrade an account for them.
Say no to installation offers
Don’t let your desire for a festive bargain cloud your common sense. If someone offers you a discounted DStv subscription at a once off payment, treat this with suspicion and check it with the network. Anyone offering “free package upgrades” or “free DStv for life” in a cut-price deal will be trying to rip you off.
How to avoid these DStv scams
The network have issued the following statement, advising consumers on how they can stay safe this year:
“There are usually tell-tale signs that can help you spot if something is a scam. Like receiving an email or SMS from us claiming that you’ve won a huge prize for a DStv competition you never entered, and for which you must either pay a fee or verify yourself by sending personal details – sounds too good to be true? It probably is.”
“MultiChoice will never request your personal details via email or SMS – please do not hand over your personal information to anyone claiming to be from DStv. Always check the email address and emails containing spelling and grammatical errors. MultiChoice only use one domain for emails (multichoice.co.za).”
A sponsorship deal with Heineken will allow the SABC to broadcast the Rugby World Cup final match between SA and England live across 11 SABC radio stations as well as on television.
Earlier this week, the broadcaster announced that, following an agreement with pay-channel Supersport, who owns the broadcasting rights to the 4-yearly rugby showcase, Saturday’s highly-anticipated clash would be broadcast on SABC 2.
This follows a public outcry that many South Africans would not be able to watch their team in the final, due to not having access to Dstv and other streaming platforms.
Additionally, the SABC will also broadcast the third-place play-off match between semi-final losers New Zealand’s All Blacks and Wales that will be played on Friday November 1.
The SABC announced Heineken as the official sponsor of the broadcast, and a partner in bringing the historic final match to the broader South African public.
The radio stations which will broadcast the match are: RSG; Radio 2000; Ukhozi FM; Umhlobo Wenene FM; Thobela FM; Motsweding FM; Lesedi FM; Ikwekwezi FM; Ligwalagwala FM; Phalaphala FM and Munghana Lonene FM, with live updates on SAFM.
Fans can watch a live build-up to the third place playoff and Rugby World Cup final on SABC 2 from 10am on Friday and Saturday respectively with the matches kicking off at 11:00.
Source: Telecom Paper
Thousands of MultiChoice’s DStv subscribers have signed a petition against DStv’s plan to cut three popular channels from its offering, MyBroadband reported. DStv recently announced that it will discontinue History, Crime + Investigation, and Lifetime at the end of October. They have been available to DStv Premium and DStv Compact Plus subscribers for years but the contract term for the channels, provided by A+E Networks, ends on 01 November.
MultiChoice senior manager for corporate communications Benedict Maaga told MyBroadband that the decision is part of an overhaul of the DStv line-up. He said the fact that the contract for these three channels came to an end gave MultiChoice an opportunity to evaluate the value it offers subscribers.
Angry DStv subscribers have launched a petition on Change.org in support of A+E Networks, trying to convince MultiChoice to reconsider its decision. The petition states that A+E Networks has opened an African office, which is growing and creating local employment.
According to a recent MyBroadband article, DStv is set to cut three popular channels from its network at the end of October: History, Crime + Investigation, and Lifetime.
This is due to the ending of contract with the American broadcasting company A&E Television Networks.
MultiChoice has said that “the decision to cut these channels forms part of its ongoing efforts to refresh content line-up and optimise the suite of channels on offer”.
New channels to be announced soon
MultiChoice said it will soon announce the introduction of two new channels to DStv – an established global brand and a new innovative brand.
The SABC has failed to reach an agreement with SuperSport to broadcast the Rugby World Cup, taking place in Japan later this month.
However, there are alternative ways to watch the World Cup, according to MyBroadband:
- Use an international streaming service, such as Rugbypass and iTV, to watch the 2019 Rugby World Cup
- Watch the games in a social setting like at a friend’s house, a pub or a restaurant
- DStv themselves are offering a special on DStv Premium. The company has reduced the price on the package from R904pm to R750pm