What is the future of DStv? Is the once mighty entertainment company on its last legs?

Hassan Saleh Dstv Uganda's managing director.
Hassan Saleh Dstv Uganda's managing director.
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By Moses Kaketo

We all share fond memories of pretty heartwarming memories of Dstv. Things have changed. DStv is no longer that amazing service that everybody jabbered for. Today, they are the ones calling customers with offers, reminding them to renew their subscription
In June this year, Calvo Mawela, the Chief Executive Officer of MultiChoice, the parent company of DStv and GOtv, revealed that returning the business to profitability was key on the agenda.



The main sources of revenue for the entertainment company remain video content and the Premier League. The bad news is that FIFA is planning to take away a slice of the cake—to start live streaming its games—which means, without subscribing to DStv, anyone with a smartphone will be able to watch the games live. This will be a huge challenge for DStv, especially in South Africa, where they have over 9 million subscribers. South Africans have a major love for sports.

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Testing the waters? FIFA Women’s World Cup 2022 live streams

FIFA+ began to broadcast all matches of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup for free, giving fans across the world access to the game. The 16-team tournament—held in Costa Rica—kicked off on August 10th, 2022.
Completely free, FIFA+ is available to download on Android and iOS devices and on desktop at FIFA+.
According to analysts, if FIFA’s plans come to pass, DStv will only be left with the Premier League. But what will happen if the Premier League also follows in FIFA’s footsteps?



More players with better offers
In recent years, more players with better offers-geared toward series and movie buffs-have positioned themselves near the Dstv playground. These, for example, allow you to watch what you want when you want.
Netfix, for example, has definitely become a “must have” for many who need their daily series fix. This costs you very little per month and gives you access to hundreds of online streamable series at good quality resolution.
Analysts say, as more players come in, giving customers more of what they like and need at a price much less than that of Dstv, once other options become more dominant, Dstv will have to do something or die.

For now, DStv’s biggest relevance is its satellite service and subscription platform.

DTT (digital terrestrial television) is making serious waves in the industry. It offers a larger array of channels at no extra charge. With the DTT, you would be using the money you would have paid DStv every month and reinvesting it into a decent internet connection. All you will then need is the DTT set box and to say bye to DStv.



DStv Uganda is on a downward spiral

Two years ago, Mr. Hassan Saleh was appointed Dstv Uganda’s managing director. He promised to hit one million customers in his first year. Back then, Dstv Uganda had 370,000 subscribers. Since then, the numbers have been falling. Today, market intelligence reports indicate that the company has about 340,000 customers. The number of actual subscribers, measured on a 90-day active basis, is actually lower.
“Who wants to pay to watch all the annoying repeats and outdated content? In the beginning, it was great because we hadn’t seen the programs yet, but once you have seen them, you don’t want to watch them over, and over again after paying with your hard-earned money.

Content
At the group level, the company came up with a differentiation strategy through local content. In Uganda, two channels they thought would push the numbers were launched: Pearl Magic and Maisha Magic, targeting the upper segment. This has, according to sources at DStv Uganda, not had a great impact. Instead, the numbers continue to dive.
In May this year, Lois Aber Kwikiriza was appointed the Head of Marketing at MultiChoice Uganda. We wait to see if she will amplify the MultiChoice brand in Uganda as well as support the company’s healthy balance sheet.
Marketing gurus believe her focus should be on identifying growth opportunities as well as positioning DStv as a trusted partner for customers’ ever-evolving needs, enriching their lives by delivering entertainment and relevant services underpinned by technology.



Pricing
DStv pricing remains a big problem. For example, why make people subscribe for so many channels? Will they watch all these channels?
Rivals, Start-Times noticed the changing customer trends and came up with the right pricing. Indeed, they smiling all the way to the bank.
Recently, DStv customers in Uganda woke up to a new notification on their TV screens regarding the price changes in their TV packages. The new rates, which will be effective September 1st September 2022, come at a time when Dstv hasn’t added new content to their lineup. Most of their new movie originals and shows are available and are focused on Multichoice’s streaming platform, Showmax. Given the current economic problems, DStv is likely to lose more customers come 1st September 1, 2022.

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All is not lost

As of June 2022, the group’s linear pay-TV subscriber base (measured on a 90-day active basis) reached 21.8m households, comprising 9m in South Africa and 12.8m, from the rest of Africa.
This means DStv is still popular. This being that it offers a wide selection of channels catering to every possible need. Be it spiritual, culinary, social, sports, etc., they have something of everything. Many people still opt in for this reason alone.

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The company also continues to enhance its video entertainment offerings and expand the variety of services it offers to customers as it grows its entertainment ecosystem.
DStv Internet, which was launched in September 2021, is also growing strongly. The DStv Rewards program, which supports customer retention and has been successful in reducing dormancy, continues to gain traction with close to a million customers.

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DStv has launched a number of online streaming services, including DStv Now, which offers its linear channels on the Web. It also delivers live sports through its SuperSport smartphone app and offers DStv Catch Up video-on-demand content online.

About the author: The writer is a marketing and distribution expert. He sees business in everything. He loves writing business news, reviews, and analyses. Reach him on +256782507579 or Twitter: @mkaketo LinkedIn: Moses Kaketo

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1 COMMENT

  1. DStv is only company with wide variety of Lucrative sports,.. being the only company that people find to leave and go to other satellite company.. Now their is that, their is too for village person to concead..in other words it is not pocket friendly.. They show lower price of packages instead of increasing so that gain multi trillion customers.. if not then star times will take at the end and DStv company with grief and wails. Report from akenadenish2020@gmail.com the DStv Installer

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