Advanced Television

DStv sheds 500,000 subs

November 17, 2023

By Chris Forrester

MultiChoice, operator of the DStv pay-TV system, has lost almost 500,000 subscribers in South Africa. The latest interim financial results show that the loss at the end of September placed the operator’s total subscriber numbers (90-day active) at 8.629 million, or 486,000 less than the 9.115 million at the same point last year.

MultiChoice says the losses are mostly down to the ending of price discounts and promotions that were in place to help subscribers during the period when South Africa suffered numerous power cuts (‘load shedding’) and their broadcast signals could not be received.

“While [we have] supported subscribers with similar campaigns during challenging periods like the Covid-19 lockdowns, we can only do so for limited periods,” MultiChoice said.

This decision resulted in 311,000 non-revenue generating customers on its temporary ‘Surprise and Delight’ offers being removed from DStv’s 90-day active subscriber base. These subscribers accounted for 3 per cent of the total 5 per cent decline.

“Load shedding remained the most immediate challenge in terms of subscriber activity, with the number of active days per subscriber declining by 5 per cent due to a significant increase in both frequency (ie number of days) and intensity (level 4 and above) of load shedding, especially in the first quarter of the reporting period,” said MultiChoice.

“Although the Premium and Compact bases showed improved stability compared to the latter part of FY23, mass-market subscribers are proving less resilient and more reluctant to pay when uncertainty around the ability to consume pay TV exists,” added the operator.

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