Choice is finally here when it comes to Pay TV in South Africa. Today Top TV has been launched. For the first time in history South Africans will have a choice of 2 different Pay TV providers. Multichoice has been dominating the Satellite TV market in South Africa since the launch of the DSTV Pay TV service in 1995. 15 years later and we finally have the choice of another provider in South Africa. This is a good thing (choice always is). Top TV’s cheapest package is available for only R99 per month. Various packages with monthly subscription costs between R99 and R249 per month are available for Top TV. The decoder, dish and installation cost for Top TV is said to be R499 (significantly cheaper than DSTV).
The Top TV R99 package includes Top One, Top Gospel, God TV, Inspiration, Zee Cinema, Hi Nolly, MGM, BBC World, Fox News, MSNBC, Al Jazeera, France 24, Current TV, Setanta Africa, Eurosport News+, SABC 1, SABC 2, SABC 3, eTV, Mindset Learn, RTPi, Fashion TV, Fine Living Network and Music Choice (Audio).
The full R249 package includes all the channels listed for the R99 package, Top Junior, Jim Jam, Baby TV, KidsCo, Nigezie, Fuel, Kiss, Kerrang, Q, Magic, Smash Hits, C Music, Classica, Top Explore, Top History, Natura, Discovery Science, Discovery ID, Star, Fox Entertainment, Fox Retro, Top Crime, BET, Top Movies, Top Movies 2, Top Movies 24, Fox FX, Silver and Showtime. The packages priced between R159 and r220 per month include the channels in the R99 package and a combination of this channels listed in this paragraph.
The cool thing thing about Top TV is that their top package (which has 55 channels in total) is only R249 p/m (less than half the price Multichoice charges for DSTV Premium). The sad thing about Top TV is that they don’t have a deal with Multichoice to broadcast media from Supersport. I’d say that Top TV lacks a bit in the Sport department and most South African (like me) love their Rugby, Cricket and Football, so they might need to improve on that. South African Rock fans can look forward to having access to Kerrang (which plays modern rock and alternative videos 24 hours a day) and Q (which plays Indie music 24 hours a day).
Yesterday Multichoice launched the DSTV Lite service (for R99 per month). They’ve also increased the amount of channels for their Select 1, Select 2 and Compact DSTV packages to compete with Top TV. Both the Select 1 and Select 2 DSTV packages now have 8 more video channels and DSTV Compact has 4 more video channels. Unfortunately the monthly subscription for the DSTV Premium package (the only DSTV package which includes M-Net and Supersport 1) remains unchanged at R529 per month. It’s just too much to pay for the right to watch Supersport 1 and M-Net in my opinion. Multichoice should gives subscribers the option to choose which channels they want on DSTV.
Let’s hope that Top TV delivers what they are promising and that they don’t have to deal with a ton of dissatisfied subscribers. I for one might be trying this service out, although I wish that Multichoice decides to sever their Sport channels into a separate affordable DSTV package so it would be economical to combine both Top TV and DSTV at home. A boy can dream after all. Feel free to comment on this post if you have an opinion about this.