DStv, the most prominent pay TV service in Africa which is owned by MulitChoice (a subsidiary of corporate giant Naspers) ran a customer earlier this year and based on feedback has promised to show fewer repeats and offer fresher content.
This is a followup to promises made in September this year that announced potential changes in the content lineup.
In a statement published recently on the DStv South Africa website, the pay TV service outlined some changes to its content lineup.
These include the trimming of repeat-heavy series channels like CBS Drama and premium M-Net movie channels (this limits the reruns of content across channels), the introduction of new channels like ROK and Zee World and securing fresher content for documentary and lifestyle channels along with over 100 new movies next year.
Does this benefit Zimbabwe?
So far these changes have only been announced by DStv South Africa, which operates separately from other DStv Africa offices like DStv Zimbabwe. However, its content adjustment strategies in the past have served as a precursor to similar changes for the rest of Africa.
At the same time, the growing number of Zimbabweans who access DStv South Africa content using grey DStv South Africa accounts also means that the change will affect viewing choices for a number of people here.
Just generosity or effects of competition?
As much as this is served as another case of deep concern for customers from MultiChoice, it’s hard to not think that there was some external stimulus that got the entertainment giant to compromise.
Considering that this is the first major acknowledgement of complaints on product quality as witnessed by the significant content changes plus the fact that DStv made adjustments to its prices earlier this year, it appears that MultiChoice is responding to some new influence.
A look at the major changes in the media and pay-TV space over the past year and a half shows that there’s new competition that came in the form of VOD services such as Netflix, ShowMax (a Naspers subsidiary and as such a”competitor” of its own making) and now Amazon Prime Video.
While VOD services are hardly as prominent as DStv right now (they rely on stable internet which is still a relative luxury in Africa) they represent the next major challenge to MultiChoice’s dominance providing viewers with thousands of hours of content for a fraction of the price that DStv charges.
That’s enough for DStv to start putting its house in order and fixing those things that viewers have complained about for years.