MultiChoice expands to reach over 5MN African homes
Rebecca Hawkes
| 23 June 2014
Sub-Saharan African pay-TV operator MultiChoice has reported an increase of 556,000 subscribers to its DStv satellite platform for the year end, pushing its subscriber numbers to more than five million for the first time.

The discount packages DStv Extra, DStv Compact and DStv Access performed well for the Naspers subsidiary, while the launch of DStv Explora also boosted the sales of personal video recorders (PVRs).

A revenue increase of 15% was recorded on the previous year to ZAR27.5 billion (US$2.58 billion) thanks to increased subscriber figures and improved advertising sales. Core headline earnings were also 15% higher at ZAR5.7 billion ($534 million), up from ZAR4.9 billion ($459 million) last year.

Lower operating margins were blamed on cost pressures from technology investment, new programming and the weaker exchange rates between the rand and the dollar.

Multichoice offered 25 new channels in the year ended March 2013, including four new sports channels. Its Mzansi Magic network also grew in popularity, with local reality shows such as Idols SA, Survivor SA: Champions, and Big Brother all performing well.

Growth in the operator's movie-on-demand service Box Office has also resulted in an average 529 000 films rented each month.

The company has also committed to make TV series 'box sets' available on-demand before they have been broadcast locally in reaction to the so-called trend of 'binge viewing' entire series.