Forget about only paying for channels you watch - DStv not scrapping current model

Television remote
Television remote

DStv will not be changing its channel bouquet model in order to allow viewers to choose their preferred channels, Multichoice CEO Calvo Mawela said on Tuesday. 

According to Mawela, if they were to scrap the bouquets and introduce the à la carte model - where viewers pick and choose channels - its subscribers would end up paying way more than they do now. 

This comes after increased pressure from the public for DStv to allow its viewers to choose and only pay for channels they want from the company’s catalogue.

“No, we won’t be doing that. That is not our business model and all over the world we have been proven right that this is not going to fly because people end up paying more,” Mawela told SowetanLIVE.

As it stands, DStv premium subscribers pay R809 while those on compact plus pay R509 and normal compact is R385 a month. 

Mawela said that the company, through the bouquet packing of channels system - which basically sees subscribers pay for channels they never watch - is able to ensure their services remain affordable. 

“People don’t realise that it’s our way of trying to make sure that the price is at a point where most of the people can be able to afford it because you are looking at a wider audience. 

“Once you start being narrower in terms of doing à la carte, you run in trouble in terms of recouping the whole investment that you have done on that particular content and it cost people more. “

Mawela did however concede that this could have contributed to the loss of 100 000 customers in the past financial year. 

Multichoice told Icasa that they have lost over 100 000 subscribers to over-the-top internet streaming services such as Netflix which allows customers to pick and choose their preferred channels and are charged accordingly. 

“When you do packing of channels into bouquets, you are trying to appeal a mass audience so that the results of which is that you get more people that would like to see the variety of channels that we’re putting in and therefore because the numbers are going to be much bigger, the costs come down,” explained Mawela.

“If you then start focusing on particular content and say to them, okay this is PSL and I’ve paid x billions of rands and I’ve got an audience that is y and those audience are the ones that will have to pay for the full cost of the PSL for me, it becomes way too expensive for people. If you start doing à la carte, there is no question about it, everybody ends up paying more because then the number of people that are focusing at any particular content in time shrinks a lot.”

He said that countries that have introduced the ‘à la carte’ method end up with an egg on their faces.

“Canada has imposed an àla carte type of regulation people are worse off that when they were following the packages. It costs them more to get the same number of channels they used to get in a package format. It doesn’t work, there is no take up, they just went through a whole long big exercise of trying to come up with à la carte, it doesn’t work. 

“You take a look at us, when Floyd Mayweather had a game with Pacquio, we gave it to all our premium subscribers they didn’t have to pay an extra cent. In the U.S this fight went to an extent of people paying $70,” he said.

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