My beef with DStv


I have to complain against DStv and Multichoice or Naspers or Whatchamacallit.

The accountant in me always insists on a frugal lifestyle, one that is unburdened by unnecessary expenditure and in accordance with this I reserve the last few days of every month scrutinizing both my current and oncoming monthly bills looking for any sort of expenses that can be remotely called needless or fanciful.

DStv charges used to come up frequently on that list with the usual dilemma of what to do. On one hand, their bills have been increasing on an annual basis for reasons best known to themselves. I seriously do not see how making me watch reruns of the Walking Dead translates to a $4 increase in my bouquet. On the other hand, I cannot miss the world-class sporting service from SuperSport.


In the end, I decided to keep my subscription until the end of each English Premiership. There is seriously nothing I consider worth watching after this, not ever since my team made it their seasonal goal to exit the UEFA Champions league at the semi-final stage and UEFA decided to turn the Ballon d’Or into a Balloon d’Spain.

I used to enjoy documentaries during the pre-seasons, but I am afraid that is no longer possible as someone somewhere in their wisdom decided to screen Storage Wars omnibuses on the History Channel! Why? I fail to see anything historical about the show which I absolutely loath, does anyone on this continent even watch this show?

With its sincere scenes and an unimaginative name that is stylised Storage War$ you would be forgiven for mistaking it for a hip hop production. The only show worse than this is BET’s Real Husbands of Hollywood.

I particularly resent how “reality” Television is slowly creeping and crowding out my usual entertainment staple of documentaries and actual fiction. Between Storage Wars and Pawn Stars, there is hardly anything historical left anymore on the History Channel.

I am becoming apprehensive each day as shows like Highway Thru hell (a show about people towing cars, if I wanted to watch this I would go watch the Harare City council in action) continue to show on National Geographic and shows of people making fish ponds start making appearances, while shows like Don’t drive here ( a show where a guy goes to third world countries so he can insult their roads while praising developed countries) are also making an appearance on channels like Discovery. It’s not like they have the appeal of Car SOS ( it’s a show about vintage cars) or the abrasive manner of Jeremy Clarkson the Shakespeare of cars.

The fact is I can do without the increasing dose of reality Television. My girlfriend makes me watch enough Idols and X-factor to sate that need.

The second complaint is why do Zimbabweans have to pay more than the South Africans when we get fewer services and Channels? South Africans enjoy more perks. For example, they get early access to services like connected Box Office, access to cheaper hardware (which MultiChoice’s agents here sell for as much as 100%+ above SA prices without the operator doing anything about it), Hire Purchase deals that allow people to buy decoders by paying monthly fees, DStv mobile etc. They even have their own Big Brother!

BouquetZW Price in USDSA price in USD at current exchange rate
Compact +/Extra5534.18
HD Premium PVR9263

*Xtraview charges are not levied when a customer has already paid PVR access fees.

Can you believe it? $57 dollars for premium access compared to $81 which equates to a $24 for what is essentially less! Call it what you want I call it outrageous. And no this is not Nigel’s April fools day price list either.

People are going to talk about this being a temporary difference created by a fall in the value of the Rand, but the Rand has been weak for almost a year now. During the Zim dollar days, bouquet prices changed quickly to reflect a fall in the value of the Zimbabwean dollar against the Rand and now we are on the appreciating end and we don’t get anything.

I think these issues especially the pricing issue needs to be addressed urgently or some regulator has to step in.

What are your qualms own with DStv?

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