MultiChoice Africa’s local franchise, MultiChoice Zimbabwe yesterday launched its next-generation PVR decoder, the DStv Explora at an event held in Harare. The DStv Explora gives a wide range of additional control and personalisation features that enhance DStv viewing experience.
DStv Marketing Manager Gerald Ngonyamo said the key feature on the DStv Explora is the 2 terabyte storage space that gives viewers 220 hours’ worth of recorded content. MultiChoice has also expanded the number of series available and now also introduces series stacking making two episodes of selected series available on demand, later to be expanded to four episodes.
The DStv Explora was released in South Africa by MultiChoice SA back in August and started trickling through the rest of the Southern African markets over the past few weeks.
Speaking to Techzim, MultiChoice Zimbabwe General Manager Norman Raisbeck said Zimbabwe was the last to among Southern Africa to release the DStv Explora because they had no stock available.
The main talking point is obviously the local pricing of the DStv Explora. At $445 excluding LNB, it is significantly higher than the South African price, which is under R2500 ($241.45).
Mr Raisbeck said as with subscriptions, MultiChoice South Africa has a different pricing model to MultiChoice Africa which also subsidises the price of decoders. He also said that since the decoders are manufactured in South Africa, duties and transport costs also have a bearing on the local pricing.
Given the proximity to South Africa, Zimbabwean dealers had already started bringing in the DStv Explora through unofficial channels and this official local price will unlikely deter them.
Mr Raisbeck acknowledged that this (importing through unofficial channels), including locals subscribing via MultiChoice South Africa is a concern but there is little that MultiChoice Zimbabwe can do because MultiChoice South Africa runs independently. The fact that MultiChoice South Africa and MultiChoice Zimbabwe run on the same same satellite also means that Zimbabweans can have access to MultiChoice South Africa bouquets that are generally cheaper and offer more channels.
MultiChoice Zimbabwe is MultiChoice Africa franchisee owned by a local company called Skynet (trading as MultiChoice Zimbabwe). MultiChoice Zimbabwe receives a monthly commission from MultiChoice Africa for managing local subscriptions.