MultiChoice’s South African subscribers and profits saw a decline in its interim results for the six months ending September 2023. This was the first time its 90-day active subscribers have declined, including any customers subscribed to the service within three months of the end date of MultiChoice’s reporting period. In terms of absolute subscribers in South Africa, it lost close to half a million across all its bouquets.
The broadcaster has attributed the poor results to load-shedding, cost pressures on consumers, and a depreciation in the value of local currencies against the US dollar. MultiChoice’s share price closed at an all-time low of US$3.38 on 17 November 2023, around half its value at the start of the year.
DStv’s biggest challenge is the emergence of global video streaming services such as Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, and BritBox.
The company’s remaining advantage in the premium market is its vast sports broadcasting rights and strong catalogue of locally created and locally relevant content. However, international video streaming services increasingly seek to secure sports broadcasting rights for high-profile events, which could threaten DStv’s sports broadcasting monopoly.
Broadcasting experts suggest that DStv’s large customer base makes it an ideal platform to become a content aggregator, like Canal+ or Sky. While the company has been slow to embrace this potential new role, it has launched a few streaming services on its Explora Ultra and Streama boxes and add-on bill options.