DStv Compact overtakes Premium

2012-06-20 17:10
Thinus Ferreira
Cape Town – South Africa's TV audience is steadily growing with a massive increase in pay TV uptake thanks to huge growth in MultiChoice's DStv Compact offering and the popularity of the cheaper bouquet.

"DStv has made large increases and from viewing figures it's very clear that MultiChoice is selling the DStv Compact bouquet like there is no tomorrow," Craig Johnson from Nielsen South Africa told ad planners, media buyers and media specialists at the quarterly industry update of the South African Advertising Research Foundation (Saarf).

The TV audience measurement company is also seeing not just increases in the overall number of TV households and TV viewers in South Africa, but also households owning and using a personal video recorder (PVR).

"M-Net is the only broadcaster where its viewership is steadily decreasing - but it's got to do with M-Net not being able to switch-over to digital terrestrial broadcasting yet and the phasing out of its analogue decoders.

"Once digital terrestrial television (DTT) starts in South Africa, M-Net will get there," Johnson said.

South Africa's TV universe – the pivotal number ad buyers, planners, broadcasters and media strategists use to allocate and make advertising campaign decisions – has grown by more thousands of people.

DStv Compact overtakes DStv Premium

"The interesting thing is that DStv Compact households in South Africa has now firmly overtaken DStv Premium households," said Johnson.

DStv Premium households within the TV universe are estimated at 1.75 million and DStv Compact at 1.85 million in South Africa.

On Digital Media's (ODM) TopTV has also shown growth and is estimated at 205 797 households after two years since it started.

The latest viewership data for April 2012 shows for instance not just a total TV viewership increase for South Africa, but also a huge increase for DStv viewership.

SABC viewership is increasing as well, largely attributed to SABC1.

SABC2 however is down (-4.3%) while SABC3, M-Net and e.tv remain flat.

Time-shifted viewing growing

Time-shifted viewing (TSV) under South African TV viewers thanks to DStv's PVR is also growing. TopTV doesn't have a PVR in the market yet.

Between January and May 2012, viewership data shows about 25 000 people who are watching time-shifted programming daily (live plus viewing on the same day as live (VOSDAL) viewing).

It increases over a seven day period. Although the bulk of added time-shifted viewing happens with the first three days of a recording, significant TV viewing happens up to seven days after a broadcast.

"Even though the number is still small compared to the rest of the world, South Africa's time-shifted viewing pattern follows exactly the international trend where significant viewing gains are being made for programming up to seven days later with cumulative time-shifted viewing," said Johnson.

DStv BoxOffice and DStv's video On Demand programming and offerings are not measured yet.


Meanwhile, MultiChoice is in the process of installing a "boosted HD PVR panel" of 170 households into South Africa's TV universe also getting the TVM5 series meter with UNITAM technology.

Whilst it won't affect TV audience measurement in terms of ratings, it will help to provide a much clearer picture in future of what exactly DStv subscribers are watching, and to measure time-shifted viewing more accurately.

Nine additional HD PVR households out of the to-be-installed 170 have already been added, with about 20 to 25 scheduled to be done per week. About 100 will have been installed by the start of the 2012 Olympic Games at the end of July.

Johnson warned that the upcoming 2012 Olympic Games to be broadcast on multiple SuperSport TV channels as well as SABC2 from the end of July and in August will lead to viewership disruption as broadcasters alter their TV schedule and viewers alter their viewing patterns.


  • thlengane - 2012-06-20 17:25

    Surely soccer is driving the DStv Compact sales, pity Top TV still does not have soccer.

  • Mtk.the.poet - 2012-06-20 17:27

    Who doesn't know SOCCER is the best???\r\nI pay a heavy R260 a month just to watch 2 chanels (203 and 204) without soccer I would die

  • Kolobe - 2012-06-20 17:49

    local soccer the biggest boost, win win as multichoice has invested alot in it

  • Cassandra Eileen Olivier - 2012-06-20 18:19

    Well what do you expect SABC shows all the good shows late at night and they don't even bother to show the rugby when its on, only Super sport has the rights heaven forbid they should bid for it. I am only getting a tv if i can get DsTv

      Irene - 2012-06-20 18:48

      SABC and good shows in the same sentence? LOL!

      russell.w.wright.5 - 2012-06-21 07:49

      What good shows?

  • FeF - 2012-06-20 18:21

    as long as DSTV has the rights to ALL the sport that matters I would gladly fork over the premium subscriptions fee...its a bargain!

      russell.w.wright.5 - 2012-06-21 07:47

      Not gladly but what other option is there? DSTv sports channels are pretty good and theres always something interesting to watch somewhere. Hey I even get to watch sonme of the stuff on my Drifta....which is still free by the way. So big ups to DSTv.

  • Grant Henry - 2012-06-20 18:32

    Ok DSTV, Mnet, SABC and ETV can Kiss My Ass. I download movies and serious weekly Sabc3 I have already downloaded and watched Survivor season 22 already and u guys are only showing Season 20 now only. Mnet u only showing season 3 of Modern Family now, downloaded and watched it already and so much more. Box office dont need u. I download at least 10 movies and yes in high def a week.

      rudi.v.wyk - 2012-06-20 18:44

      See my question to Gerrit above. You are comparing the free download of content versus a subscription where you pay for the right to watch a legally acquired program. There is no way that legally downloading 10 HD movies a week is costing you less than a subscription.

      Jesse Palmer - 2012-06-21 06:11

      You have a point Rudi. And it's amazing how people brag about downloading things onto their extra hard drives or USBs.

      Grant Henry - 2012-06-21 11:34

      It has nothing to do with showing off but Im sick and tired of being ripped off in this country because we consumers just except it. Take petrol, we delivery fuel to our neighbouring countries and there fuel is cheaper then ours, Eskom suppliers electricity to them as well, het they have cheaper rates and when Eskom hasn't got enough electricity because of their stupidity, they start load shedding not with them but us that pay high tariffs. Dstv as well in all the other African countries where they broadcast, these people pay less then those paying in this country.

  • Zenzile Tshanda - 2012-06-20 18:52

    give me my soccer and i will pay your two hundred and sixty rand, no questions asked. i hate the repeats though.

  • russell.w.wright.5 - 2012-06-21 07:43

    Anything less than premium sucks.....How can eTV, SABC, M-NET or TopTV compare with DSTv Premium?......they can't obviously. DSTv may not be everything to everybody, overpriced it may be.... sure it's got it's problems.... but it sure as hell beats the pants of anything else out there.

  • erena.slabbert - 2012-06-21 11:50

    ha ha DSTv dream on once Analog's gone the new players will sort you out!

  • ryno.duplessis - 2012-06-21 12:45

    Why hasnt Multichoice/DSTV introduced a 'Pay-per-View' option like one would get in the States? I would much rather want to choose the channels I would like to have, to reduce the subscription a month versus a full subscription, since compact doesnt show the live rugby and cricket I cant go with that option and have to have premium. Dont even care about the rest of the channels, just want the sport...

      russell.w.wright.5 - 2012-06-22 07:27

      Yup....make it pay per channel rather than a package.

      zwelakhegeorge.myeza - 2012-06-26 18:07

      This has been troubling me for some time for I miss boxing mostly because it is not shown on any of the channels on Dstv Compact. I cannot take premium bouquet just for only boxing since I also enjoy soccer on SS3 and SS4.Something should be done by Multichoice for us.

  • william.letsong.5 - 2012-06-22 02:05

    So yes I guess the time is right to add more channels to the Compact subscriber's pleasure Multichoice.

  • zwelakhegeorge.myeza - 2012-06-26 17:54

    Soccer keeps DSTV on top.Without soccer, the number would drop remarkably. This proves that this is indeed the beautiful game.

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