MultiChoice calls for Netflix to be regulated
13 July 2018
MultiChoice, the pay-TV operator that continues to bleed subscribers, is fighting tooth and nail to remain relevant amid tough competition from online streaming services.
The pay-TV operator lost more than 100,000 premium subscribers in the previous financial year. It has lost a further 40,000 subscribers to date.
MultiChoice SA CEO Calvo Mawela attributed this loss of business to unregulated competition from video-streaming company Netflix, saying it had an unfair advantage as it was not under any regulatory pressure in SA.
However, MultiChoice, which owns DStv, said it was aware that failure to adapt its business model could make it a victim of digital disruption.
Mawela said MultiChoice was cognisant of the fact that viewer habits had changed, with people wanting to watch more content online.
He said that while traditional satellite broadcasting still appealed to a significant number of subscribers, the company was actively looking to capture the online audience.
It had therefore introduced new platforms, such as DStv Now, an online streaming service that allows subscribers to access DStv content online. MultiChoice was hoping to soon launch 4K-streaming, a higher resolution high-definition (HD) format, for DStv Now.
The operator has also said it is exploring the possibility of offering a streaming-only package that would take on Netflix and other over-the-top players.