Monday, May 9, 2016
MultiChoice now going after illegal DStv subscriptions in Zimbabwe as people turn to DStv South Africa and OpenView HD to get access to better TV channels.
MultiChoice has started to try and root out illegal DStv subscriptions and illegal DStv installers in Zimbabwe that's active on, and activate, DStv South Africa accounts.
The move comes as more and more Zimbabweans seek out DStv subscriptions activated in South Africa, as well as Platco Digital's free-to-air OpenView HD (OVHD) offering, in order to get access to more and better TV channels than what's available in Zimbabwe.
Last year MultiChoice Zimbabwe said it is aware of a growing number of pirate viewers north of the Limpopo and will try to cut those accounts - people who watch DStv in Zimbabwe but using a South African activated account.
These pirate viewers get access to a much bigger selection of TV channels available to South Africa viewers - including channels like the SABC's SABC1, SABC2 and SABC3 and e.tv - channels regarded as better than those available from the state-controlled Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC).
Zimbabwean viewers are especially seeking out DStv South Africa subscriptions in order to get access to the neverending avalanche of local weekday soaps churned out by South Africa's popular soap opera cottage industry, ranging from Rhythm City and Muvhango to Uzalo, Scandal! and more.
DStv South African subscriptions also cost much less than in Zimbabwe, where after a conversion from US dollar, Zimbabweans pay more for packages like DStv Premium, DStv Compact, DStv Select and DStv Family and
"In terms of international copyright laws, MultiChoice South Africa can only provide its services to people resident in South Africa due to channels being authorised for reception in South Africa only," says MultiChoice Zimbabwe in a statement.
"All operators providing DStv connections and support services in Zimbabwe are bound by law to ensure that DStv services in Zimbabwe are those that are legitimately provided for this country, and they may not connect Zimbabweans to DStv services in South Africa."
"It is clear that a number of bogus operators are promoting access by Zimbabweans to DStv services sourced in South Africa, an act that is illegal and in flagrant violation of international rights regulations."
"It is our hope that this crackdown will eliminate bogus operators, who are putting customers at risk of poor quality service and also exposing them to possible prosecution for infringement of international copyright laws".
Meanwhile Platco Digital's OpenView HD has also emerged as a growing favourite outside of South Africa's borders.
Although the TV product is meant for the South African market and requires a South African activation, agents sell and activate OpenView HD installations in Zimbabwe using South African details.
By buying an OpenView HD decoder with no monthly subscription fee after, Zimbabwean viewers get access to about 20 TV channels, including the e.tv channel in high definition and the SABC's channels.
Like DStv South African subscriptions in Zimbabwe, active OpenView HD accounts in that country violate the same broadcasting content regulations since the content that's being broadcast is not licensed for that territory.