Here’s why you can’t pay for the DSTV channels you only want, but that might change

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Some of you prefer watching sports, while others like catching with the news after work and others love to watch soaps. I tend to gravitate towards movies and documentaries. The great thing is that Multichoice through its Pay TV service DSTV actually has all this content. The problem is; it’s all bundled in packages.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could actually watch only what interests you and pay for it? Much like walking into a supermarket, select what catches your eyes and checkout. Many people agree that this is what they want and this constitutes one of the frequently asked questions about DSTV.

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But the reason DSTV can’t do that yet is two fold; technical and economical reasons.

First the pay tv provider has to overcome technical challenges that come with letting individual users choose their own channels. According to an interview with South Africa’s Mybroadband, MultiChoice’s group general manager Nyiko Shiburi explains that there would be more traffic to DSTV satellites than they can currently handle. Your Decoder is constantly communicating with DSTV satellites and their ground stations about your current subscription status, channels you’re subscribed to and streaming content to your TV. Moreover, this communication has to be encrypted or simply secure in order to avoid piracy.  Now If everyone is running their own custom package, Nyiko explains that it would put a lot strain on the DSTV satellites thereby shooting the costs of transmission.


Related post: Here are all DSTV Uganda packages, channel list and decoder prices


The other reason is more economical and it has to do with the economies of scale. DStv makes their PayTV service competitive by bundling channels in packages. When more people are subscribed to specific channel, it brings the content license costs down for them which in turn is transferred to the customer. Otherwise, the less people are subscribed to a channel, the more expensive it might be according to the DStv FAQ page.

“To make our service cost effective, we bundle DStv channels into packages so we can spread the costs across these. If we could offer customisable packages, your choice might not prove very popular so the expense would be spread across far fewer customers, thereby making it far more expensive.”

However, DSTV revealed that they are at least considering the possibility of enabling users pay for channels they want. When M-Net was marking its 30th  anniversary, M-Net boss Yolisa Phahle hinted on possibility of giving DStv subscribers the option of subscribing and only paying for the specific TV channels they want according to South Africa’s Channel24.


Related post: DStv BoxOffice, ShowMax and DStv Catch Up: Here are the differences


Until then you can only expect to subscribe to pre-packaged DSTV bouquets although now Multichoice has introduced on-demand viewing options such as DSTv Catchup, Boxoffice and ShowMax.