Thanks to lower uncapped broadband prices and the low costing structures of Netflix both globally and in South Africa, thousands of South Africans have been dumping their DStv Premium subscriptions. In fact, the loss of subscribers that MutiChoice SA has been experiencing has led their CEO Calvo Mawela to call for ICASA to regulate Netflix, due to what he terms is “an unfair advantage”.
How Did MutiChoice Fail to Defeat NetFlix?
Simply put, MultiChoice failed to defeat NetFlix’s influences due to simple economics! Just over 4 years ago quality fibre-to-the-home was only available in a few neighbourhoods. Today that has all changed thanks to companies such as MacroLan, Openserve, Vodacom and MTN and the continuous rollout of business and home fibre networks across South Africa. Additionally, NetFlix launched in South Africa in 2016 and when combined with the now more common occurrence of fibre optic networks these two factors combined to create a perfect Digital Storm for MutiChoice and its DStv pay channel.
Armed with the dropping costs of uncapped fibre due to the massive network expansions, and the NetFlix’s VERY affordable streaming service, DStv Premium subscribers started dumping their subscriptions in their thousands. To add insult to injury MultiChoice continued to increase the price of its Premium DStv on a yearly basis, which further added to their woes.
Then in 2018 a tipping point was reached and A DStv Premium subscription for the first time became more expensive than an uncapped 10Mbps fibre-to-the-home connection and a Netflix subscription combined! This has had a massive effect of the MutiChoice subscribers base as tens of thousands of subscribers in the past 11 month have simply cancelled their DStv subscriptions and moved to a reliable fibre network backed streaming service, with the biggest winner in this race being none other than Netflix.