'Cut DStv prices', says angry viewers

Multichoice CEO Calvo Mawela
Multichoice CEO Calvo Mawela
Image: Gallo Images / Felix Dlangamandla

More than 100,000 South Africans have signed an online petition demanding that pay broadcaster DStv drop their prices.

The petition was launched on Thursday, just a day after MultiChoice announced that shows such as Isibaya and Gomora have ran out of new content to air as the result of TV productions shutting down for the duration of the national lockdown.

The Queen and The River are expected to stop airing new episodes next month.

The petition was started by Sfiso Gwala, writing in the petition description: "DStv should give SA subscribers a payment break or decrease prices during Covid-19. DSTV drops prices for the rest of Africa except South Africa and now this. We're being taken for granted here #DstvMustFall"

Currently the Premium (135+ channels) package cost per month R749, while Compact Plus (115+ channels) goes for R489 and Compact (100+ channels) will set you back R359.

In September, DStv cut prices in various African countries, including in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique.

Some of the 100,000 supporters of the petition have given their reasons for signing.

"Prices must drop and we must get new content. Also, we must choose which channels we want," Gaotingoe Mosiane wrote.

"I am signing because I would like DStv to reduce their prices because all we ever watch is repeat on repeats," Amanda Mthembu jotted down.

"DStv is expensive and repeat shows most of the time," Matshidiso Assegaai said.

From Friday, and the whole month of May, DStv plans to open more channels for Compact consumers "at no extra cost".

These channels include 1Magic, Comedy Central, Africa Magic Urban Movies, Curiosity Stream, History Channel, Nickelodeon, CBeebies, MTV Music and Sky News.

"It's exciting to bring new content to our Compact package subscribers.

"During this time, we aim to keep our customers entertained with the best local and international content available to us and we are excited that we can give our customers exclusives such as the Somhale's The Union which was dubbed as the wedding extravaganza of the year," says Ntsika Msuthu, PR manager at DStv South Africa.

In response to the petition MultiChoice spokesperson Benedict Maaga said: "MultiChoice continues to provide an uninterrupted video entertainment subscriptions service with the best available content."

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