Kenyans already pay a lot for DStv services, but MultiChoice has adjusted the prices upwards thanks to high inflation and operating costs. 

South Africa’s entertainment company MultiChoice, which operates DStv and GOtv products in the Kenyan market, has announced a price hike for the services, effective August 1, 2023. This marks the third time in under a year the company is revising the price for its packages upwards, a move that will be very unpopular among its users.

DStv Premium will now cost KES 9900 ($70) per month, up from KES 9500 ($68). Subscribers on Compact Plus will pay KES 6200 ($44) per month, a jump from the usual KES 5900 ($42) fee. Those on Family and Access will pay KES 1850 ($13) and KES 1300 ($9) from KES 1750 ($12) and KES 1250 ($8.8), respectively.

GOtv subscribers have not been spared. The SUPA plan will now cost KES 1900 ($13.5) from KES 1750 ($12), while the Max tier will cost KES 1450 ($10.3) from KES 1350 ($9.6).

Less than one year ago, MultiChoice adjusted the pricing of its plans to the uproar of its local users. The complaints make sense because the company has few rivals in sports streaming in Kenya. Locals have no alternative to accessing live games besides what DStv offers via satellite signals. Kenyans have, for a long time, faulted the company for its exorbitant package prices, and they will not catch a break from MultiChoice’s knack for revising its costs upwards. However, MultiChoice Kenya cites high inflation and operating costs for these changes, just like any other company in Kenya. 

Additionally, DStv no longer allows customers to stream content on multiple devices. The move came after the company complained about illegal streams when illegal businesses selling DStv logins came up to address a market that was already feeling the pinch of DStv’s high subscription costs.

MultiChoice also runs a streaming service in Kenya, Showmax, which has attempted to rival Netflix over the last few years. Showmax has the same issues as DStv, as customers cannot stream content over two screens. Showmax further limits stream quality to just 720p, which is low in modern times, and at a time when Netflix cranks up resolution to 4K with high dynamic range (HDR) support.

READ MORE: No dividends for Multichoice shareholders as company channels funds into Showmax

The beauty of Showmax (Pro) is that it has a sports streaming feature but at a higher price (KES 2100). Compared to the current amount of money that customers pay for DStv, Showmax is a great bargain, but remember, a customer needs an internet connection to access Showmax, whereas DStv relies on satellite signals. Furthermore, Showmax Pro does not stream Champions League matches in Kenya, although it does so for customers in its native South Africa.

Will these new prices see customers cancel their DStv subscriptions? Probably not since most Kenyans cannot access internet-based streaming services and depend on DStv or GOtv packages for home entertainment. However, when the new prices go into effect in a month, some subscribers may be forced to look for other options, bearing in mind that their pockets are already strained following the signing of the Finance Bill 2023

Kenn Abuya Senior Reporter

Get the best African tech newsletters in your inbox