16/02/2018 17:19 SAST | Updated 16/02/2018 17:19 SAST

DStv Price Hike Coming In April

DStv Compact Plus (the renamed DStv Extra) will cost 4.1% more from April.

Mike Hutchings / Reuters

MultiChoice is hiking DStv subscription fees again from April 1, with subscribers of the fastest-growing tiers, DStv Compact and DStv Compact Plus, seeing the steepest increase.

DStv Compact Plus (the renamed DStv Extra) will pay 4.1 percent more from April – these DStv subscribers see their monthly payment going up from R489 to R509 per month.

DStv Compact subscribers will be paying 5.5 percent more, as their monthly fees will increase from R365 to R385 per month.

DStv Family subscribers on the lower tier are hit the hardest, with a 6 percent increase that sees their subscription climbing from R235 to R249 per month.

The top-tier and most expensive DStv package, DStv Premium, will cost 2.5 percent more from April 1, rising from R789 to R809 per month.

The 2.5 percent increase is, however, almost half of the 4 percent price hike DStv Premium saw last year. The percentage of MultiChoice's DStv Premium subscriptions as part of overall DStv subscriptions have been steadily declining the past few years, an indication that subscribers no longer see it as offering as much, or enough, value to justify the high price.

The bottom-rung DStv Access remains unchanged at R99 per month, and DStv EasyView remains unchanged at R29 per month.

While subscribers on the legacy DStv Select package continue to lose channels that are not being replaced, they will see a price hike of 6 percent from R235 to R249 per month.

People with M-Net analogue decoders will see a price increase of 5.1 percent from April 1, with their subscription fees rising from R389 to R409 per month. M-Net analogue subscribers are now paying more than DStv Compact subscribers, although that bouquet obviously doesn't include the sought-after M-Net (DStv 101) channel.

DStv's access fee for PVR users will increase by 5.9 percent from R85 to R90 per month.

Decoder insurance fees remain unchanged, and DStv BoxOffice PVR rental fees at R35 per title also remain unaltered.

MultiChoice elsewhere in Africa lowered DStv fees over the past few months, in countries like Kenya, Zambia, Uganda and Ghana, saying in a statement that: "We recognise that our customers are living in tough economic times, and want to reward them for their ongoing loyalty and support. We want to do our part by adjusting the price of our DStv packages through making them more affordable while adding more value at the same time."

While South Africa's rand has been performing better than most other African currencies and has even marginally strengthened, MultiChoice keeps hiking DStv prices in South Africa annually, where its largest subscriber base is located.

When asked about the latest DStv price hike for South Africa, MultiChoice repeated the identical phrase it used in 2017, saying "We're committed to keep improving our offering so it gets better every year."