Hein Kaiser
3 minute read
24 Feb 2021
3:03 pm

Is it time to cancel your DStv subscription? Here are your options

Hein Kaiser

It may be time to ditch DSTV, with a wide range of streaming platforms being available to viewers at a much lower cost

Picture: Instagram

Death and taxes are two of life’s certainties. The third though, is that stuff gets more expensive.

The most not-so-new but recent rationale to drill deeper into consumer pockets cite the devalued Rand, a weakened economy and so on and so forth as justification.

MultiChoice is pushing up the price of all its products from 1 April, and while the company notes that majority of its increases are below inflation, is there still bang for buck?

This in a new age where South Africans have access to most premium international streaming services. Unless watching seven channels of sport is worth nearly R12,000 every year.

Twenty years ago, the Rand traded at R7,77 to the greenback. Today, two decades later our currency’s stable point is at R15 to the dollar – roughly just more than double what it was.

READ MORE: DStv is hiking its prices and SA is not happy

In 2001, a DStv premium subscription was charged at R325,69. Right now, you are paying double-and-a-half more than then.

Box Office rentals are being pushed up by just under 15% to R40 a movie while premium subscriptions climb to R829.

Add PVR access to that at R105 from April and DStv will now cost as much as a trolley of monthly basics at the supermarket.

Conversely, an Apple One subscription that includes Apple TV Plus, Apple Music and Apple Games on a family sharing plan will set you back R184.

Indulging, a Netflix subscription starts at R99 along with Amazon Prime and Showmax, both at R99. Add it up and building your own bouquet of thousands of hours of movies, series, music and games comes in at under R500.

A decent data connection is around R400 these days.

Options for cancelling DSTV. Graphic: Costa Costa Makola

Scheduled programming will ultimately head the same way that LPs, CD’s, celluloid and anything analog went.

In a world where work and home lives are intertwined and time increasingly scarce, entertainment dependent on a programme guide will be trumped, every time, by on-demand.

South Africans spend on average 4 hours and 12 minutes in front of the small screen every day, so many services, so little time, and even less disposable income than 20 years ago.

Subscription prices

  • DSTV Premium: R829
  • DSTV Compact Plus: R539
  • DSTV Compact: R409
  • DSTV Family: R295
  • DSTV Access: R115
  • BoxOffice rentals: R40
  • PVR access fee: R105


  • Basic – One screen at a time & one phone can download: R99
  • Standard – Two screens at a time & two phones can download: R139
  • Premium – Four screens at a time & four phones can download: R169


  • Showmax – Buy one month, get two more on them: R49
  • Showmax Pro – Buy one month, get two more on them: R225

Apple TV

  • Monthly subscription is just R84,99 after a free 7 day trial

Hein Kaiser

About the author:

Hein Kaiser is a seasoned journalist, broadcaster, producer, and marketing communication professional and has worked in a variety of markets, sectors, and countries.

He presently hosts the 360 Brunch over weekends on Mix 93.8FM, writes for the Citizen and consults to various companies on a strategic level.

For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.