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In 1986, South African mass media company Naspers formed the entertainment entity known as M-Net. Naspers through M-Net was given a monopoly of broadcasting satellite TV in South Africa. In October 1993, M-Net was divided into two companies – one dealing with the delivery of entertainment channels, the other oversaw subscriber management, signal distribution, and cellphone operations.
MultiChoice South Africa grew out of this subscriber management division. Today it’s the leading video entertainment operator in the country and services just over five million subscribers. In the late 80s, M-Net embarked on a drive to expand its operations beyond the borders of South Africa.
Its founder, Koos Bekker, wanted the company to position itself as a progressive pan-African entity. The breakthrough came when they were awarded a license in Namibia in 1991, quickly followed by a host of other countries. MultiChoice Africa came into being in 1996 and currently services over four million subscribers.
MultiChoice South Africa is based in Randburg, Gauteng. The company sources channels from around the world, as well as channels produced in South Africa, which are put into packages.
One of the company’s brands is DStv. This pay-TV service provides customers with channels that cover: general entertainment, movies, lifestyle and culture, sport, documentaries, news and commerce, music, religion and more. DStv packages range from EasyView (entry-level) to Premium (top-tier), as well as niche packages for the Indian and Portuguese communities. DStv also offers great value-added services such as DStv Mobile, DStv Catch Up and BoxOffice.
In 2016, MultiChoice SA launched GOtv. The service had previously been available in various African countries and was brought to South Africa on the back of a requirement – initiated by the Minister of Communications – for analogue television to migrate to DTT (digital terrestrial television). GOtv delivers content via network towers, rather than by satellite.
MultiChoice Africa is based in South Africa and provides multi-channel pay-TV and subscriber management services in 48 countries across sub-Sahara Africa and the adjacent Indian Ocean islands. MultiChoice Africa’s digital DStv service features over 200 video channels and up to 65 audio channels with a strong focus on local content.