Namibians prefer Netflix over DStv

Namibians say they prefer streaming platforms such as Netflix and Home Box Office (HBO) over Digital Satellite Television (DStv).

This comes after MultiChoice subscribers declined by 9%, according to the company’s annual report for the year ended 2024.

While the company had a 26% trading profit margin in South Africa and a 48% increase in trading profit in the rest of Africa, it acknowledged a challenging consumer environment.

MultiChoice is a South African company that operates DStv, a major satellite television service in sub-Saharan Africa,
Member of the public Tony Sefako says the only reason people still pay for the service is to watch football without interruptions.

“Everything DStv offers me, I can get from Netflix, Showmax and HBO for a much cheaper rate and these sites leave me with the control to watch what I want to watch, whenever I would like to watch it,” says Sefako.

He further says he would prefer if DStv introduces a package for sport only, as it has a tendency to repeat content.

“They play old movies and old shows, which only the older generation have an interest in. They are also not in sync with what’s happening out in the world at the moment,” he says.

“Very soon, and you can quote me, DStv might run out of business if they do not adopt a new action plan on how to remain relevant in our social and cultural context.”

MultiChoice Namibia head of corporate affairs Elzita Beukes did not respond to questions sent to her last week regarding how this will affect business locally. However, some local subscribers told The Namibian that the company will not survive in the long run if they do not adapt.

Windhoek-based DStv subscriber Tendu Kampanyama says the company should review their prices as some viewers only pay their subscriptions during the football season.

“I think DStv is just a waste of time because I don’t get to watch what I want and the only thing probably on DStv is sport,” Kampanyama says.

Agnes Iipinge says she still maintains her DStv subscription for news and mainly to entertain her children.

She does not think DStv should shut down.

“The kids will be affected as they watch TV more than the adults because I cannot allow my kids to watch Netflix because there is a lot of adult content,” says Iipinge.

Lukas Atutala says he sees no point in paying DStv, as most of the entertainment he watches is available at a cheaper price on streaming services.

“I think it’s kind of pointless because most of the stuff that is available on DStv you can watch for free online and you can subscribe to alternative services like Netflix and Showmax,” he says.

Nangula Garues is not a DStv client because she says most of the content is repeated programming.

“I don’t think they should shut down. I think they can bring in more programmes that more people can subscribe to. And not just necessarily the same things repeated.”

According to the group’s financial results, its liabilities increased while assets decreased.

This puts the company in a position of insolvency, meaning they wouldn’t be able to cover all their debts even if they sold everything they own.

MultiChoice’s total assets declined from N$47,6 billion to N$43,9 billion, while liabilities increased to around R45 billion.

A contributor to the financial difficulties is a new long-term loan of N$12 billion taken to manage daily operations.

The group has, however, accelerated their cost-reduction programme, aiming to save N$2 billion by the 2025 financial year.
“These targets have been embedded in the group’s budgets and within the personal objectives of key executives to drive delivery,” notes MultiChoice.

“The group will also continue its efforts to drive growth in focused areas, notably Showmax, Moment, SuperSportBet, DStv Insurance, DStv Internet and DStv Stream.”

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