A lot of people have been asking for something like this for years. Multichoice has always refused. Now almost 25 years later, DStv is on the brink of piloting DStv Flex in South Africa. The new service known as DStv Flex will allow DStv subscribers to only choose the channels they want-well sort of. It splits the service into a base package-which everyone has to pay for, sports packages and a movie package. Since this will be tested out in South Africa all we have for now are Rand prices:

  • At the very top, we have a base package that is going for R299 per month. Everyone has to pay for this first no matter what you choose after this comes with channels such as:
    • Movie and general entertainment channels such as Mnet, Fox, 1Magic, BET, Mnet Movies 3 and 4,
    • Children channels such as Cartoon Network, Dinsey, Nickelodeon,
    • Documentary and Life sytle channels such as History, Food, Discovery, National Geographic,
    • News Channels such as CNN, Sky news, eNCA etc
    • Music Channels such as MTV, Trace and Channel O
    • Free to air channels such as SABC channels. Probably when the option comes to Zimbabwe you will get a dose of ZTV as well
  • After this, you can opt to add either Sports or Movies Package
  • For the sport option you have several options:
    • You can choose Sport pack 1 (Football) which goes for R349 per month and gets you the following channels:
      • Supersport EPL, PSL, Football, Golf, MotorSport, Action, La Liga, Tennis, Variety 3-4, ESPN and ESPN2
    • You can opt for Sport Pack 2 which goes for R349 per month which gives you all sports except football:
      • Supersport Rugby, Cricket, Motorsport, Action, Golf, Tennis, Variety 3-4, Espn 2
    • If you want all sports you have to pay R499 per month on top of the base price and get all sports
    • If you want movies instead of sport you have to pay R99 for the rather underwhelming movie pack which gives you Mnet Movies 1 and 2 as well as fliekNet.

This means if you are a sport fanatic and want to watch all sports you pay:

R299+R499 which is a total of R798. This saves you a mere R32 compared to what you would pay for premium which goes for R830. If you are into all sports DStv Flex makes little sense, therefore. You are better off just paying for a premium. If football is your poison you will pay:

You will end up paying R299 for the base plus R399 for football giving a total of R698. That’s savings of R132 compared to what you would pay for the premium package which you don’t need. You will pay the same amount if you are into all sports other than football. This would make DStv Flex a worthwhile investment indeed depending on your income.

If you are into movies you just have to fork out a mere R99 to get the Mnet Movies 1 and 2. The question though is do you need to? The base package is already very appealing if you are not a sports fanatic. For R139 you can just add Netflix instead.

A complex issue

Unbundling is a complex issue because as Multichoice is always saying it will not lead to a simple pricing option of say $2.50 per channel as some people think. Multichoice pays different prices for different content depending on demand and the type of content. Some content is expensive e.g. live sports while some is cheap e.g. old movies and recycled documentaries. They mix it up so as to come with a palatable price for each package.

This means in general that sports fans would probably see no savings if they only paid for sports as opposed to paying for boquets with other content as they have been doing. It also means that those who don’t like sport would probably pay less if they only paid for what they are watchin.