DStv vs Kwese TV: Subscription prices compared

DStv vs Kwese: smartcard and us dollars

In what has been a whirlwind of a story, the latest development is that Kwese TV is back, again. The High Court permitted Dr Dish to continue selling Kwese pending the Supreme Court ruling on an appeal that was made by BAZ.


After years of a DStv monopoly, the nation was understandably excited about the new entrant into the pay-TV market. Kwese promised cheaper subscriptions and not only that, customers can pay for Kwese using bond notes, something you cannot do for DStv subscriptions.

So Kwese is back and the subscription prices have not been changed. The model they have is a bit different to the one DStv has. For Kwese there is one bouquet, the customer chooses how many days they would like access to that one bouquet offering all the channels. It costs $5 to get access for three days, $9 for 7 days and $29 for a full month.


On DStv the model is that you get fewer channels for less money but all for a full month. There are no options to pay for a period less than a month. This makes the comparison with Kwese a bit difficult. The best we can do is compare their compact bouquet with the Kwese bouquet since they are in in a similar price bracket. DStv has more expensive bouquets with even more channels but Kwese has no comparable offering so we will not look at those.

DStv recently reduced subscription prices for its bouquets. The DStv compact bouquet now costs US$25 whilst Kwese is going for $29 (payable in bond notes, swipable, EcoCashable etc.) It is now illegal to sell cash but before it was, you would need to pay a premium to get US dollars. The premium you would have to pay could be as high as $34 (at 35% premium for the USD) or as little as $28 (at 10% premium.)

We will also compare the 7 day Kwese option with the DStv Access bouquet simply because they are comparable in price. In terms of channels, for Kwese you get the full bouquet for the 7 days and for DStv you get less than you would on the Compact bouquet.

The 3 day Kwese option will be compared to the DStv Lite package, again because the price is comparable. Full bouquet for 3 days for Kwese and fewer channels for longer on DStv.

Compact: USD$25 ($28-$34 in bond notes)Full Month: $29
Access: $11 ($12-$15 in bond notes)7 days: $9
Lite: $7 ($8-$10)3 days: $5

There is a different article comparing the quality of content, you can go read that. This article will focus on how much it costs. We should remember how convenient it is to pay for Kwese compared to DStv’s insistence on payment in foreign currency, something a lot of people have complained about.

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44 thoughts on “DStv vs Kwese TV: Subscription prices compared

  1. kwese is better in terms of everything, how can you pay a subscription in foreign currency while I’m in Zimbabwe, go to Zambia they pay in kwacha and dstv accept kwacha ,go to Tanzania they pay in shillings, why do they refuse bond notes here ,I will revert to kwese TV

  2. Competition is good. Monopoly is bad. Coming of Kwese Tv is great to us Zimbabweans. Lets hope they will improve programming like including ZBCtv and all international sports eg football. cricket. rugby. netball. athletics etc

  3. Like here in Malawi Kwese TV is coming and few people are having access for it, because it has come with a very expensive subscription fee. If possible we barg them look at matter just reduce the price of decoder as subscription fee.

  4. I think $20 per month it’s OK because Dstv in South Africa is cheaper for citizens, you should also consider us as your family and dstv reduced its prices recently so it’s competition do favours to Zimbabweans

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