Thursday, February 29, 2024

MultiChoice hikes DStv decoder prices by up to over 17%.

by Thinus Ferreira

MultiChoice has quietly hiked DStv decoder prices by up to 17% far above the inflation rate.

From earlier this month the price of a standalone DStv HD decoder jumped 14.3% from R699 to R799, while MultiChoice increased the recommended retail price (RRP) of an installed HD decoder by 11.1% from R899 to R999.

MultiChoice hiked the price of a standalone DStv Explora PVR decoder a whopping 17.6% from R1699 to R1999 from February, while the Randburg-based pay-TV operator increased the standalone price of its top-of-the-range DStv Explora Ultra PVR decoder by 11.1% from R2699 to R2999. 

South Africa's inflation rate hovers around 6% according to Statistics South Africa, which means MultiChoice hiked DStv decoder prices by far more than double the inflation rate.

TVwithThinus asked MultiChoice why these DStv decoder price increases up to 17% is suddenly so high and far above inflation. The company didn't respond to the media query and had no comment.

MultiChoice is set to release its latest DStv decoder - the DStv Glass modelled after Sky's Sky Glass - towards the end of its current 2023/2024 financial year, which means it could be ready to ship to be under South African Christmas trees at the end of December 2023.

DStv Glass is basically a flatscreen TV set with the DStv decoder built-in, with MultiChoice that entered into a partnership with Comcast and the United Kingdom's Sky to bring a version of the Sky Glass to South Africa as DStv Glass.

It will further tighten and complement the content ecosystem and commercial partnership between MultiChoice and Comcast’s NBCUniversal and Sky that are collaborating on MultiChoice’s retooled and relaunched Showmax 2.0 video streaming service.

DStv Glass will mean that DStv subscribers no longer buy a decoder from MultiChoice but a TV set - which will raise questions about DStv subscribers' need for a valid SABC TV licence - with MultiChoice that bundles and curates all of the available content for the TV viewer on one screen, pulled from various different sources like linear TV channels and streaming services.

Similar to existing decoders, contract DStv subscribers will be able to buy a DStv Glass - which comes in various different sizes and colour schemes - and pay it off over time as part of the monthly subscription fee payments.

Earlier this month MultiChoice announced its annual DStv monthly subscription fee increase which will kick in from April 2024.

DStv Premium is increasing from April 2024 by 5.7% from R879 to R929, with a 6.9% increase for DStv Compact Plus increasing from R579 to R619.

DStv Compact is increasing 4.5% from R449 to R469, DStv Family is increasing 3.1% from R319 to R329, while DStv Access is increasing 7.8% from R129 to R139. DStv EasyView is remaining the same at R29. 

MultiChoice is increasing the DStv Access fee by 4.3% from R115 to R120 monthly.