Photo: Free Stocks / Flickr

DStv vs Netflix: Price comparison for all subscriptions in 2020

As frustrated DStv viewers turn their attention to online streaming sites like Netflix, it’s time to compare the prices and packages of each service.


Photo: Free Stocks / Flickr

We’re in the grip of a global health crisis, and South Africans across the land are spending more time indoors than ever before: With nighttime curfews, three-hour exercise windows and abandoned town centres, there’s nothing left to do but stay in and watch television. But DStv and Netflix now find themselves in competition.

Audiences migrating online

Some citizens have moved away from the MultiChoice bouquet completely, opting to consume their favourite shows exclusively through streaming services. Others, meanwhile, remain fiercely loyal to the domestic brand. And somewhere in the middle, you have social media users voicing their frustrations with SA’s cable service:

Disgruntled subscribers find their voices

#DStvMustFall has topped the Twitter trends for the second time this month. A haze of repeats – and stubbornly high subscription fees – have tested the patience of their viewers. The broadcaster has introduced more free channels to certain packages, but a failure to cater to everyone only caused more frustration.

In April, Netflix reported a boom in new sign-ups, as telly addicts get their kicks elsewhere. So, for those of you wanting to know how both services compare in price, we’re going to break it down into two tables. First, we’re looking at all the packages DStv offer, and how prices have changed in the past year:

Cost of all DStv packages in 2020

PackageCost in 2019Cost in 2020Increase in %
DStv PremiumR809R8191.23%
DStv Compact PlusR519R5291.9%
DStv CompactR399R3990%
DStv FamilyR265R2795.2%
DStv AccessR105R1103.8%
DStv EasyviewR29R290%
Access feeR95R1005.2%

DStv vs Netflix: Prices, packages and value for money

Now we’re throwing Netflix into the mix: There are three separate packages you can subscribe to with the online provider: Premium, Standard, or Basic. Interestingly, you get the exact same number of shows and features on each offer, but the picture quality varies. Furthermore, Premium allows up to four people to use your Netflix account all at the same time. Pay a little extra, and your friends and family can reap the benefits.

PackageMonthly cost in 2020Yearly cost for the next 12 months
DStv PremiumR819R9 828
DStv Compact PlusR529R6 348
DStv CompactR399R4 788
DStv FamilyR279R3 348
Netflix Premium (UHD)R169R2 028
Netflix Standard (HD)R139R1 668
DStv AccessR110R1 320
Netflix Basic (SD)R99R1 188
DStv EasyviewR29R348
Access fee (for installations)R100N/A

Netflix ‘the more affordable’ option

Incredibly, you can get access to all Netflix shows available in South Africa, and it will only be more expensive than one DStv package. In fact, the price of the MultiChoice network’s Premium is over four-and-a-half times costlier than what one would pay for the Premium version of the online streaming site.

DStv will argue that their provision of live sports and entertainment channels warrant a higher fee, and to an extent, they have a case: More ‘traditional’ forms of TV – with time slots and individual stations – have a broad appeal.

But with the world at a standstill, justifying a subscription fee of almost R10 000 each year for the top-end of customers becomes increasingly difficult – especially when their competitors are offering more affordable services. There are only so many times ETV can make Anaconda the Sunday Night Movie, we guess.