DStv vs Kwese TV: Subscription prices compared

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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.

DStv Kwese
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.


  1. Tafadzwa Kwenda

    This is good especially to those who cannot get United States of America dollars

    1. Sibanngani

      Does it have soccer the kwese compared to dstv which has more soccer chanel’s

  2. Bunhu

    So I m really worried that one has to become an illegal forex dealer to buy the rand to put into the rand ecocash wallet to pay monthly dstv. 10 years for tv eish

  3. WeZaka

    is this a sponsored article. promotional material for kwese. Be serious techzim this is very shallow article and not informative may the next article you referred to will be worth reading.

  4. Fra

    This article has a lot of misinformation because it is too generalised and promotes the use of the black market which is unethical. The compact boquet is now 25 dollars and one can just pay if an account holder at some banks like FBC without having to buy us dollars on back market

    1. Ash

      What of those who are not FBC account holders???

    2. Munokasa Munokasa

      Dstv has caused us a number of inconveniences especially to people in the rural areas i mean areas not easily accessible and customers who bank with “other” banks. I think kwese is a better option for most of the people considering its payment options. LONG LIVE KWESE TV

  5. candy

    You are not comparing like with like which render your comparison very useless. It’s like comparing lemons & apples. The offering between these 2 are different

    1. Anonymous

      You may not like the article but its good. If you can write better articles please do so then we can compare your article with this one. Do not be an armchair critic

      1. Imi Vanhu Musadaro

        One critic, criticising another for being a critic… 😐

    2. Tate

      DSTv is better for soccer lovers, unfortunately they are doing themselves a disservice by not accepting other modes of payment, This will give an advantage to Kwese. Half a loaf is better than nothing

    3. Imi Vanhu Musadaro

      I agree, this is not a balanced comparison. A critical omission is the actual channels on offer. The number of channels doesn’t mean anything alone. Some once off payment subscriptions like OVHD and WizTech (I’m not sure if it still works), offer 20 channels and more, but it doesn’t mean that since the price per channel is cheaper than both DSTV and Kwese, they are better. The subscriber must get value for money, be it from DTSV, Kwese or whatever else one decides to subscribe to. That’s what should be compared.

  6. etony

    I think they’re comparable. He is comparing expenditure and possible value. That is very informative because it will be the day to day decision for many. Obviously these are not apples being compared, but differentiated products competing for same dollar.

  7. muzimbo

    This is very shallow comparison. Do something better we want service providers to accept bond notes

  8. Nyasha

    Kwese far much better

  9. G

    Now that Kwese has its license in order, they can now focus on building content for Zimbabwe. Many complain that they don’t have local content but its because they need to sort out their license issue first then they can build local content

  10. Spencer Zimuto

    The write-up is informative but disparaging at the same time. Try to market your product independently without undermining others.

  11. Me

    Kwese is far much cheaper and affordable

  12. komrade

    Comparison is Good it awakens the sleeping monopoly capitalists. However please take the opportunity to remind the main players that we need a Zim news channel. Like SABC, ANN, etc tinzwewo zvomuno. If they are scared of censorship why not just shoot video clips and pics without commentary . like the “no comment” clips shown on some Kwese channels

  13. Pipilo

    I think its now better for us subscribers. DS tv has been milking us for such a long time, at least with Kwese tv there are some channels available even if you haven’t subscribed. its a local company and it is concerned with our welfare as citizens

    1. Imi Vanhu Musadaro

      Kwese TV is not a local company. Other countries have had Kwese for some time now. Dr. Dish is to Kwese TV, what Multichoice Zimbabwe is to DSTV. Don’t let the name deceive you into thinking it is local and will be promoting local content.

      Have you subscribed yet though? Because many are saying subscribers have a choice, but no-one is actually saying I’ve left DSTV and I’m now on Kwese 4 Life 😉

      1. Tisu Anhu Acho Kwese Kwese

        It is a local company Imi Vanhu Musadaro only that it is registered in Mauritius, just like ECONET (for obvious reasons). It is owned by our own Strive Masiwa. It was not introduced in Zimbabwe ahead of all those countries owing to suppresive laws of our country, otherwise it was meant to be launched in this country first (then). Kwese chishona (just a gentle reminder)

        1. Imi Vanhu Musadaro

          Lol. If it is registered in Mauritius it is a Mauritian company. Econet Wireless Zimbabwe is registered in Zimbabwe. Yes, Kwese is a Shona name, that is what deceives people into thinking it’s Zimbabwean company, which it is not. There is no Kwese TV Zimbabwe, if so, where are their offices. Don’t twist FACTS to suit your desires.

          1. Anonymous

            Wenharo haumugone.

  14. bravo chipato

    Nice to hear.

  15. Humphrey Chinjonjo

    Does Kwese tv broadcast EPL games if not when will it do? I would like to join

  16. Mohammed Adamu Yusufari

    What i’m concern is the matches available on Kwese TV, is champions league matches, EPL and laliga are all available?

  17. Mohammed Adamu Yusufari

    I want to know the league available on Kwese TV

  18. Samuel kimani

    An in kenya.where do we get kwese?

  19. t dzokai

    This is better

  20. Ru

    The picture quality is not good and you should put year of production on your movies. Most of them are vintage we

  21. spaner boy

    provided we access epl laliga and champions league carry over

  22. Anonymous

    yes tru sports channels must be clarified…wc leagues are u broadcasting.

  23. Anonymous

    I’d rather watch few boring channels all month than 60 exciting channels for 3 days then dololo?

    1. f*

      Wabaya dede ne mukanwa

  24. chokwadi changu

    taura hako

  25. chokwadi changu

    The truth is DSTV is actually cheaper, the problem with DSTV is the mode of payment. I would rather pay for access tv $11 for a full month than paying mbichanambichana.

  26. Bruce

    here is a way to pay for your dstv and other online payments it works bt u need a PayPal account believe me it work http://puredrga.loan/4707713089337/?rstr=824

  27. Anonymous

    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

    1. pfeee

      bond note has no external market value that’s why dstv is refusing bond

  28. Mutakura

    Dstv notorious for repeats. We are tired

  29. munery Ngomani

    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

  30. Emmanuel Kamanga

    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.

  31. Anyway Musenguri

    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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