Thursday, September 3, 2015

MultiChoice looking at the possibility of offering a Sport bouquet on DStv and if offering big sport events as pay-per-view is economically viable.

MultiChoice is looking at and researching the possibility of offering a Sports specific DStv bouquet to DStv subscribers but is cautioning that it won't be happening soon, and is also researching the economic viability of offering big sport events as a pay-per-view (PPV) option in Africa.

Tim Jacobs, CEO of MultiChoice Africa, said at the MultiChoice Content Showcase in Mauritius that MultiChoice that offering a sports specific bouquet on DStv is part of MultiChoice's product development.

"We listen to consumers, but it's a different model to our current one." Tim Jacobs said MultiChoice is "constantly evaluating the viability, so it's something we're considering, but it's not imminent".

David Booth, chief content officer for MultiChoice Africa, also commenting on the possibility of a sports specific DStv bouquet on Wednesday at the Main Beach Marquee where MultiChoice held a MultiChoice Africa Media Roundtable press conference, said that MultiChoice is always looking at trends.

"We're not in a position at this time to go that far [introduce a sports specific package]. There's always a chance to improve our content and quality and over the next two years, we'll see how it goes," said David Booth.

"Pay-Per-View sounds attractive, but it's actually a red herring," said Tim Jacobs.

"An easy example is the Mayweather/Pacquiao boxing match earlier this year. It sold on Pay-Per-View across the world – in the USA at $99 for 3 to 4 hours of viewing.

"Across the continent, subscribers pay less than that for DStv Premium for a whole month of viewing across all our channels – and in this instance, that included that fight, which was broadcast on SuperSport. That's the benefit of scale for us."

"If you segment sports, for example the English Premier League (EPL), the reality is that the cost of that is much higher than everyone thinks because you need to divide up those expensive rights between a much smaller viewing population, so the cost goes up exponentially."

"That doesn't mean we're not looking at Pay-Per-View as an option – we need to be flexible and we get a lot of requests for it."

"We’re watching consumer demand and looking at whether it's economically viable. It's not on the cards right now, though, but we do have a research team trying to work that out," said Tim Jacobs.

MultiChoice's 5 day DStv Content Showcase in Mauritius started on Tuesday with the satellite pay-TV service doing a programming and content upfront where several TV channels - from Sony Television and BBC Worldwide to SuperSport, M-Net, Viacom's BET, MTV Base, A+E Networks UK's History, Lifetime and others - are presenting their latest and upcoming programming and content over the coming months.

MultiChoice excluded South Africa's press and TV critics from attending the MultiChoice Content Showcase that media from other Africa countries are attending, and MultiChoice didn't inform South African journalists covering the TV industry beforehand that the event would be taking place.