DStv CEO: Why you can’t pick your own TV channels

Calvo Mawela. (Gallo Images)
Calvo Mawela. (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - In an interview on SABC News Calvo Mawela explained why DStv subscribers in South Africa and across Africa can’t each pick only the TV channels each one of them want, and why MultiChoice bundles TV channels in a few bouquets.

“The model doesn’t work. The model just doesn’t work,” said Mawela.

He cited Canada that “went through a very rigorous, time-consuming regulation change in Canada where they insisted that pay-TV operators need to do a la carte. Guess what? Today there is no uptake because consumers end up paying more for the same number of TV channels that they’re getting today.”

“So it came up to a zero-zero sum where they went through this whole process. What consumers don’t understand is that we look at our research across the market and then what we do is that we bring everybody together with different tastes of content.”

“In that way we attract a much larger audience and then prices come down. That’s how we do our packaging in order to ensure that we keep prices down, that will attract a bigger audience because we’ve got children, we’ve got sport, you’ve got movies and all other content that we have.”

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Mwela said that “consumers – probably because they’re not exposed to other markets that are trying this type of thing where it’s failing horribly, like in Canada that just introduced this” are not aware of how pay-TV works.

In August MultiChoice will be dropping the former Gupta-owned ANN7 from DStv that recently changed its name to Afro Worldview and changed ownership hands to Mzwanele Manyi, with MultiChoice that says it hopes to announce the new local TV news channel replacing Afro Worldview before then.

“We are targeting to make sure that we make an announcement before the expiry of the current contract so that we can people an opportunity to know exactly what’s coming next,” said Mawela.


*Channel24 is part of Media24, a subsidiary of Naspers

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