In a podcast interview with TechCentral on Monday, MultiChoice CEO Calvo Mawela announced that they will be launching a streaming-only version of DStv.
It is highly unlikely that we will see it launch in 2018, with Mawela hinting for the streaming service to only arrive in 2019, saying that various technical and marketing teams at the TV broadcaster are working hard on bringing it to market.
“Unfortunately, we don’t have timelines to share at this stage,” Mawela said. Asked if the product will be launched in 2018, he said: “Definitely not… We’d be lucky to get it ready for 2018.”
A streaming-only version of DStv will not require a satellite dish to receive signals, rather relying on the Internet to deliver channels and on-demand content, Mawela said in the podcast.
“We are in the early stages of the development of this and it’s in line with what DStv Now offers. We want to improve it to get it to a stage where we can go fully to market on this,” he said.
Mawela says this includes developing costing – looking at “what pricing levels will be acceptable” to its customers and the impact it will have on its direct-to-home (DTH) satellite business – and figuring out the broader go-to-market strategy.
In the podcast, Mawela said the traditional DTH pay-TV business is living on borrowed time, with the switch to online streaming likely to happen faster than most people think. He warned that if MultiChoice doesn’t embrace streaming, and disrupt its own business model, it runs the risk of falling behind or even becoming irrelevant.