MultiChoice loses 9% of Its subscribers in a year, DStv premium segment plummets

Africa’s MultiChoice has witnessed a sudden decline in its subscriber base, losing 9% of its active subscribers – 5% in South Africa and 13% in the Rest of Africa (RoA) – over the past year with its premium subscriber segment powered via DSTV plummeting further.

MultiChoice, which is currently part of a corporate take-over and buyout process by Vivendi’s Canal+, blames its recent market losses on Eskom’s loadshedding and a “challenging consumer environment”.

In its RoA business, MultiChoice Africa blamed its operations in Nigeria, Angola and Zambia for “worst performance”, citing rampant inflation and volatile currencies.

In South Africa, MultiChoice lost 7.6 million South African DStv subscribers in one swap. Its “premium tier” of DStv Premium and DStv Compact Plus subscribers – MultiChoice’s most-valuable consumers who contribute most to Average Revenue per User (ARPU) – MultiChoice saw subscriber numbers plummet another 8%.

The firm now has only about 1.8 million 90-day active DStv premium segment subscribers left. Another loss of 200 000 top-end DStv subscribers was recorded in South Africa in 2023, rendering a culmilative loss for the cable TV giant.

In its “midmarket” tier – DStv Compact subscribers – MultiChoice saw cord-cutting of a whopping 9%, while its mass-market subscribers decreased by 2% “due to pressure in the DStv Family base, load shedding and the reduction of DStv decoder subsidies”.

In these segments, MultiChoice shed around another 200 000 DStv subscribers in South Africa, meaning that in total MultiChoice lost around 400 000 DStv subscribers over the past year.

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