Like most men I like sports; I find Test cricket and the UEFA Champions league particularly interesting. I also like Nature and History documentaries although I care little for gossip news or “reality” televisions shows like Idols and X-factor. Under no circumstances will you find me watching Big Brother or Race. No one in our home watches these shows. They simply do not interest us as they might do to some people. I find it galling therefore that, under the current arrangement with MultiChoice, I have to pay for a lot of channels that I do not like just so I can watch sports.
Under the current pricing regime channels are grouped into bouquets which are “tailored” to suit different needs. Ostensibly this is so that people can choose a bouquet that they can afford. Conspicuously absent from these low priced bouquets however are the most popular sporting channels (most SuperSport channels) which are instead only found under the DStv premium bouquet.
The DStv premium bouquet has about 119 channels. In any given month few people ever get to watch even half of these. Why would I want to watch the RTP channel when I don’t understand a single word of Portuguese? I think being forced to pay for channels that you will never watch so that you will have the ones that you want is unjust. It would only be just if the current price oriented bouquets are replaced by a system where people pay per channel.
I am sure everyone has their tastes when it comes to watching Television. I have aunts, uncles and cousins who will do anything to watch entertainment news or reality television. I am still to find anyone who likes the Travel and Blackbelt channels though. Instead of having channels arbitrarily put into bouquets a price tag should be placed on channels and an opportunity given to people to choose what they want to watch and pay for it.
Another alternative would be to use the pay per view model where subscribers pay for only those programs that they watch instead of flat billing. This would be similar to the way that Internet companies charge for their data – per megabyte. DStv does indeed have this pricing model which they use on their Box Office and DStv on Demand products. At the moment however the services are restricted to South Africa as the rest of us are left to wallow and long for the day that this service will be availed to us. People would for example only pay for the games their team is playing in and ignore the rest of the games.
I think DStv pay per channel would be a popular package if only Multi Choice would consider introducing it.