Thursday, February 16, 2017

MultiChoice hiking the prices of DStv packages for 2017 from 1 April - but the percentage increase this year is lower than usual.

DStv subscribers in South Africa will again pay more from 1 April with MultiChoice hiking monthly subscription fees for the year.

MultiChoice is telling DStv subscribers that it is trying to keep subscription fees down in South Africa's tough economic climate.

DStv Family subscribers face the biggest price hike: from R219 to R235 - a jump of 7.3%. That is well above the current headline consumer inflation rate of 6.6%.

All the other DStv monthly price hikes are below the current inflation rate.

It's not yet clear by how much M-Net analogue subscribers' monthly subscription fee will increase.

DStv Premium subscribers will have to fork out R789 per month from April for MultiChoice's most expensive service, although it represents an increase of just 3.95% - the smallest increase out of all the packages.

Last year the DStv Premium increase was a massive 8.58%. It's however not surprising that DStv Premium subscribers are getting the smallest percentage increase this year.

The overall percentage of DStv Premium subscribers as part of MultiChoice's total subscribers base has been falling in 2016 and slid from 22% to 18% ((2.24 million subscribers to 2.005 million).

That's according to MultiChoice's results for the 6 months until the end of September 2016.

MultiChoice likely wants to stem or reverse this trend as subscribers have been opting away from the top tier, not seeing it as representing enough value.

DStv Extra subscribers will pay R489 from 1 April 2017 - a 6.53% increase.
The DStv Extra increase was 8% in 2016.

DStv Compact is increasing from R345 to R365, an increase of 5.79%.
The DStv Compact increase was 8.2% in 2016.

The subscription fees of MultiChoice's cheapest two offerings, DStv Access (R99) and DStv EasyView (R29) will remain unchanged.

The monthly access fee (R85), individual rentals for DStv BoxOffice movies (R35) and DStv decoder insurance will also remain unchanged.

Here is how DStv prices for 2017 will increase and the percentage price hike:

                                    2016      1 April 2017
DStv Premium            R759       R789               3.95%
DStv Extra                  R459       R489               6.53%
DStv Compact            R345       R365               5.79%
DStv Family               R219       R235               7.3%
DStv Access               R99         R99
DStv EasyView          R29         R29

Add-on packages
DStv Indian                 R340       R360               5.88%
DStv Indian add          R220        R229              4.09%
DStv Portuguesa         R445        R465              4.49%
DStv Portuguesa add   R220       R229              4.09%

Two contributing factors
Two things are likely influencing MultiChoice's smaller than usual annual DStv price hike.

Firstly, the South African rand that took an incredible beating in 2016 is recovering and on a strengthening trend.

Since the same time last year the South African rand has strengthen almost 25% against the American dollar.

MultiChoice and M-Net must buy foreign content like American shows and films and broadcasting rights for sports in dollar and pay certain channels on the DStv platform as part of carriage deals in the global currency.

Secondly a flurry of subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) players are pecking around MultiChoice's pay-TV nest, will all the recent entrants looking to steal an egg or two where they can.

Netflix, friendly foil ShowMax from same-stable Naspers, Amazon's Prime Video, from China's PCCW Global, PrideTV and other streamers now all offer local South African watch-and-gorge services.