MultiChoice is hiking the prices of its main DStv bouquets. However, most of the increases this year are relatively modest compared to last years adjustments.
The 2017 increases are mostly below the prevailing consumer inflation rate, and are significantly less than the increases announced in 2016.
In a communication with customers, MultiChoice acknowledged that consumers are under pressure because of a tough economic environment and it said it has attempted to keep increases in 2017 to a minimum.
The less-steep hikes may also reflect the growing competition from Internet streaming rivals such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and ShowMax, a sister company to MultiChoice in the Naspers stable.
Another factor is that cost pressures on MultiChoice have lessened significantly since last years steep price hikes thanks to the strength of the rand against international currencies, especially the US dollar.
Since the last price adjustment was announced, on 1 March 2016, the rand has improved by almost 25% against the greenback. The purchase of foreign programming, often in US dollars, is a significant cost driver in MultiChoices business.
From 1 April 2017, the price of DStv Premium the companys top-end bouquet will rise to R789/month, from R759/month now, an increase of 4%, it said in the communication to customers. Last year, MultiChoice hiked the price of DStv Premium by more than twice that by 8,6% from R699/month to R759/month.
DStv Extra will increase on 1 April 2017 by 6,5% to R489/month, from R459/month now, while DStv Compact customers will have to fork out R365/month, a 5,8% increase over the R345/month currently charged. The 2016 increases for Extra and Compact were 8% and 8,2% respectively.
DStv Access and EasyView customers will be pleased to learn that the prices of the two bouquets remain unchanged at R99/month and R29/month respectively.
However, DStv Indian and Portuguesa subscribers will have to cough up more from 1 April.
The DStv Indian bouquet will rise to R360/month, from R340/month now, while an add-on Indian bouquet, offering even more channels, will cost R229/month, from R220/month now. Portuguesa subscribers will in future pay R465/month, from R445/month now, with add-on channels rising from R220/month to R299/month.
The personal video recorder access fee remains unchanged at R85/month, as do BoxOffice rentals (R35/title) and decoder insurance, MultiChoice said in its communication with customers.