DStv Premium and Compact bleed subscribers as MultiChoice raises prices every year

Despite losing customers, MultiChoice continues to increase the price of its premium DStv packages every year.

Although it has ruled the increases since 2018, relatively speaking, premium subscribers continue to cancel or downgrade. MultiChoice also saw its first drop in mid-market DStv Compact and Commercial subscribers in 2022.

DStv’s high-end market segment has lost around 300,000 customers since 2018, while its mid-market segment has fallen to 2018 levels.

This is despite DStv’s overall subscriber base increasing substantially in 2020 and 2021, primarily due to growth in entry-level customers.

Over the past five years, viewers experienced the biggest price increase in 2018 and 2019 when DStv increased prices by an average of 4.52% in its high-end and mid-range segments.

In 2020, 2021 and 2022, MultiChoice implemented average price increases of 2.11%, 2.84% and 3.18% in these market segments.

The diffuser increased its fixed prices by an average of 2.7% in 2022, which it said was significantly lower than the consumer price index projected for the year.

The broadcaster said it had weighed the challenges facing South African consumers and absorbed the increased cost of doing business as much as possible to implement minimal adjustments.

In the mid-market segment, which includes DStv Compact and Commercial packages, MultiChoice saw subscriber growth between 2018 and 2021.

However, this customer base has grown from around 3 million in 2021 to around 2.8 million in 2022.

At the same time, MultiChoice has implemented a 4.89% price increase for its Compact products.

DStv loses mid-tier and high-end subscribers

A recent MyBroadband analysis revealed that the viewership of DStv’s top 30 programs dropped significantly Last year.

The Broadcast Research Council of South Africa (BRCSA) publishes monthly TV audience measurement reports using Nielsen’s Peoplemeter technology.

The data showed a decline in viewership on DStv over the past six years, with the drop between July 2021 and 2022 being the steepest.

It should be noted that most of DStv’s top 30 shows are streamed on Mzansi Magic, which is available on its Compact, Compact Plus and Premium packages.

That of the broadcaster latest annual results also showed significant losses in these market segments between March 2021 and 2022.

DStv reported a 4% decline in 90-day active subscribers for its Premium segment in the country. DStv’s Premium segment includes its Compact Plus and Premium packages.

The mid-range segment, which includes the Compact, also fell by 6%.

Recently, the broadcaster has come under pressure from international streaming services and local competitors, and faced increased regulatory scrutiny.

MultiChoice CEO Calvin Mawela said the company plans to gain more viewers by focus on locally produced content in the markets in which it operates.

DStv’s premium and mid-range package price increases from 2018 to 2022 are summarized in the table below.

DStv premium and mid-market price increases 2018 – 2022
Package Old price New price Increase %
2018
DSTV Premium R789 R809 R20 2.53%
Dstv Compact Plus R489 R509 R20 4.09%
compact dstv R365 R385 R20 5.48%
2019
DSTV Premium R809 R809 None
Dstv Compact Plus R509 R519 R10 1.96%
compact dstv R385 R399 R14 3.64%
2020
DSTV Premium R809 R819 R10 1.24%
Dstv Compact Plus R519 R529 R10 1.93%
compact dstv R399 R399 None
2021
DSTV Premium R819 R829 R10 1.22%
Dstv Compact Plus R529 R539 R10 1.89%
compact dstv R399 R409 R10 2.51%
2022
DSTV Premium R829 R839 R10 1.21%
Dstv Compact Plus R539 R549 R10 1.86%
compact dstv R409 R429 R20 4.89%

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