As far as anyone is concerned, this is actually the first time that MultiChoice is revealing the number of subscribers that it has lost. Although, this is not the first time that they are experiencing such decline in the number of premium subscribers. MultiChoice South Africa revealed in June that it had lost many DStv Premium subscribers during the past financial year due to increased competition from Netflix. According to MyBroadBand,
This is the first time MultiChoice has highlighted the decline in its DStv Premium subscriber base, but it is not the first time the group saw such a decline. DStv Premium subscribers across the pay-TV operator’s markets in Africa have been declining for the past three years. Its overall subscriber base continues to grow, but most of this growth comes from lower-end subscribers. This means that MultiChoice’s mass-market growth is continuing, even as its high-end subscribers are declining.
Naspers’ annual results for the year ended 31 March 2018 showed that DStv Premium subscribers across the MultiChoice Group declined by 41,000. The year before, the group lost 135,000 DStv Premium subscribers. Last year’s annual results from Naspers also showed that the group lost nearly 255,000 DStv Premium subscribers between April 2015 and March 2016. It must be noted that Netflix launched in South Africa in January 2016.
DStv’s ARPU across its African operations since March 2014 is as follows:
- March 2014 ARPU: R335
- March 2015 ARPU: R349
- March 2016 ARPU: R347
- March 2017 ARPU: R353
- March 2018 ARPU: R344
Despite all of this, MultiChoice plans on removing Sony Entertainment, channel 127 and Sony Max, channel 128 starting from the 31st of October 2018, and customers won’t really seem happy about it.