You may soon be able to choose your own DStv channels

DStv is looking into ways of letting customers subscribe only the channels they want to watch, instead of a limited basket/bouquet of pre-selected channels.

In an interview on the Money Show, M-Net CEO Yolisa Phahle addressed the question of why viewers aren’t able to pick the channels they want to watch – particularly in a digital age.

“So that’s something which DStv are actually looking into at the moment, because more and more and more and more we hear that this is something consumers really are asking for,” Phahle said.

“I guess for us its a challenge of trying to work out whether it ultimately – you are going to spend more – people are going to be unhappy because they are only going to be getting three channels and paying more than they were for 100 channels.

“The fact of the matter is, people are asking the question, and somehow, we’ve got to find a way to be able to give people what they want, because if we don’t – there are options today,” Phahle said in reference to the likes of Netflix and Showmax – which is also in the Naspers stable as a means to address the digital video-on-demand market.

In a recent interview with MyBroadband, MultiChoice, the parent company of DStv, explained the difficulty of letting subscribers choose their own channels.

Nyiko Shiburi, MultiChoice’s group general manager for broadcast technology, said the technology is built to place channels into a relatively small number of groups.

If you let each subscriber become their own group, this would place more strain on the system than the bandwidth offered by DStv’s satellites could handle.

It could take days for a new subscriber to be activated if such individual channel selection were allowed, MultiChoice said.

The group also pointed to pricing consequences. To explain the model, Shiburi compared it to a gym. “You can’t just pay for the treadmill,” he said.

Capital expenditure costs are high, so you have to package things in such a way that they become affordable to as many people as possible,” MultiChoice said.

The group told MyBroadband that by packaging channels in the way it currently does – into predetermined bouquets – it makes the services more affordable.

“We are always improving choice and flexibility by improving our on-demand services, that is why we are looking at how we can further address that desire on various online platforms,” Shiburi said.

DStv currently offers six different packages:

  • DStv Premium: R759
  • DStv Extra: R459
  • DStv Compact: R345
  • DStv Family: R219
  • DStv Access: R99
  • DStv Easy View: R29

Read: Why I miss having DStv

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You may soon be able to choose your own DStv channels