DStv Hikes Prices Thrice in Under a Year in Kenya, Courtesy of MultiChoice

Dstv raise prices

Kenyans who rely on DStv services are bracing themselves for a financial hit as MultiChoice, the South African entertainment corporation operating DStv and GOtv in the country, announced that service prices would be rising. The price hike is set to come into effect from August 1, 2023. This move signifies the third price increase within less than twelve months, a development that is unlikely to be well received by the consumer base.

From August, DStv Premium will set subscribers back by KES 9900 ($70) every month, a rise from its previous cost of KES 9500 ($68). Compact Plus subscribers will witness a price jump to KES 6200 ($44) from the earlier rate of KES 5900 ($42). The Family and Access packages will also see an increment, costing KES 1850 ($13) and KES 1300 ($9), up from KES 1750 ($12) and KES 1250 ($8.8), respectively.

The increase has not spared GOtv subscribers. Those subscribed to the SUPA plan will need to shell out KES 1900 ($13.5), a rise from KES 1750 ($12), while those on the Max tier will be paying KES 1450 ($10.3) from the former KES 1350 ($9.6).

Less than a year ago, MultiChoice raised an uproar among its Kenyan users by hiking the prices of its packages. The outrage is understandable, given the fact that MultiChoice faces limited competition in the area of sports streaming in Kenya. The locals have no other option for watching live games other than through the satellite signals provided by DStv. Kenyans have long criticized the company for its high package prices, and this new hike reaffirms MultiChoice’s pattern of upward cost revisions. MultiChoice Kenya, however, points to soaring inflation and operational costs as the reasons behind the increase, a challenge facing all Kenyan companies.

In addition to the price hike, DStv has also ceased to allow customers to stream content on multiple devices. This policy was enforced after the company faced issues with illegal streams linked to unlawful businesses selling DStv logins to cater to a market already burdened by DStv’s high subscription costs.

Apart from DStv and GOtv, MultiChoice also manages a streaming service in Kenya called Showmax, which has been trying to compete with Netflix in recent years. Showmax, however, shares DStv’s limitations, as it does not allow customers to stream content on multiple screens. The service also restricts stream quality to 720p, which is considered low by contemporary standards, particularly at a time when rivals like Netflix are offering 4K resolution with high dynamic range (HDR) support.

One positive aspect of Showmax (Pro) is its sports streaming feature, although it comes at a higher price (KES 2100). In comparison to DStv, Showmax seems like a fair deal. However, it’s crucial to remember that accessing Showmax requires an internet connection, unlike DStv, which is satellite-based. Moreover, Showmax Pro does not broadcast Champions League matches in Kenya, a feature available to customers in its home country, South Africa.

The question arises – will these new prices cause a mass cancellation of DStv subscriptions? The likelihood is low as most Kenyans do not have access to internet-based streaming services and rely on DStv or GOtv for their home entertainment. However, when the revised prices take effect, some subscribers may be prompted to seek out alternatives, especially considering the increased financial strain following the enactment of the Finance Bill 2023.