The COO of MultiChoice answers questions about why this year’s DStv price hike was as high as it is.

dstv MultiChoice recently announced price increases to most of its DStv packages, with fees going up by 8% or more.


DStv Access and EasyView were spared, with EasyView seeing a price drop from R39 to R29 per month. Decoder insurance prices did not change.

This was an unusually high price hike from MultiChoice, which typically raises prices in line with inflation

Stats SA said the average CPI for 2015 was 4.56% – compared to the hikes of 8% or more.

The reason for the price hike, said MultiChoice, was the dramatic weakening of the rand in 2015 – with our currency losing 29% of its value since April 2015.

“[Foreign currency] is a huge amount of our costs,” said MultiChoice COO Mark Rayner.

The biggest component of this is content, but its technology suppliers and satellite leases are also priced in US dollars.

Overall, foreign currency makes up the majority of DStv’s cost base, said Rayner, which means it is affected a lot by rand strength.

While they can take forward cover to mitigate the effect of the weakening rand to a small degree, Rayner said they really had to look at their costs across all the areas of the business to keep prices in check.

DStv packages 2015 price 2016 price % increase
DStv Premium R699 R759 8.58%
DStv Extra R425 R459 8.00%
DStv Compact R319 R345 8.15%
DStv Family R199 R219 10.05%
DStv Select* R199 R219 10.05%
DStv Access R99 R99 0.00%
DStv EasyView R39 R29 -25.64%
M-Net Analogue/CSN* R335 R369 10.15%
DStv specialist packages 2015 price 2016 price % increase
DStv Indian R319 R345 8.15%
DStv South Indian* R239 R260 8.79%
DStv Portuguesa R410 R445 8.54%
DStv add-ons 2015 price 2016 price % increase
Access Fee R80 R85 6.25%
BoxOffice PVR rentals R30 R35 16.67%
DStv Indian add-on R205 R220 7.32%
DStv South Indian add-on R155 R170 9.68%
DStv Portuguesa add-on R205 R220 7.32%
*No longer on offer – only available to subscribers still on the package.



Rayner said that on top of the weakening rand, DStv’s input costs are rising in dollar terms too.

They have a new satellite going up next year, Intelsat 36, which will cause a step-change in DStv’s cost base. Premium content and sports rights have also become significantly more expensive, he said.

This means MultiChoice has had to look elsewhere to manage costs.

Rayner said they have had conversations with suppliers to cut content, channels, or prices – depending on what rates well with viewers, and what doesn’t.


MultiChoice’s equipment providers have also come to the party to help contain technology costs, he said.

Challenged on MultiChoice’s exclusive licensing of content and its recent move to new offices Rayner said the move had no material impact on costs.

“We were sprawled all over Randburg,” he said. They decided to take a long-term view, considering MultiChoice’s commitment to Randburg in terms of the infrastructure it had already deployed there.

“There are actually savings there,” he said.

However, Rayner said they have had to relook exclusive content licensing in light of the weakening rand.

“We still want to keep the very best content for our subscribers as far as we can afford.”

“We have to decide whether it’s something worth paying for exclusivity for. Those conversations are brought into sharp focus now when times are tough.”

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