Streaming service DStv Now crashed suddenly during the broadcast of the opening match of the Rugby World Cup 2019 between NewZealand and South Africa on MultiChoice’s SuperSport channel.
MultiChoice said there was “a problem with the influx of fresh logins on the platform which had to be individually verified.” A message on the channel read: “Sorry, we are unable to play this video right now, something went wrong on our side.”
The streaming service has crashed repeatedly, leaving subscribers unable to watch the premiere episode of the final season of Game of Thrones on M-Net (DStv 101), the finale of The Bachelor SA on M-Net, the English Premier League final, Formula 1 racing and The Voice SA.
Stacey Venter, marketing specialist at MultiChoice’s Connected video division, said: “We are aware of the issues with DStv Now and understand how frustrated our customers are feeling.”
MultiChoice corporate affairs representative Nthabiseng Serote said: “We would like to apologise to some of our DStv Now customers who were unable to access the platform for the Springbok Rugby World Cup 2019 match against the All Blacks. All customers that were logged in ahead of the start of the match were able to view the game seamlessly.
“Our engineering team has been working tirelessly ahead of the Rugby World Cup to ensure preparedness for a record number of online viewers. Our DStv Now app goes through a series of checks during a user’s login to verify the user, their password, package etc. This verification process is quite critical to ensure that our customers are able to have access to the platform for their entertainment requirements.”
Naspers, one of the largest technology investors in the world, plans to separately list entertainment subsidiary MultiChoice on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE).
The new publicly listed company is named MultiChoice Group and comprises MultiChoice South Africa, MultiChoice Africa, Showmax Africa and conditional access tech firm Irdeto.
Naspers CEO Bob van Dijk said: “This marks a significant step for the Naspers Group as we continue our evolution into a global consumer internet company. Listing MultiChoice Group via an unbundling aims to unlock value for Naspers shareholders and at the same time create an empowered top-40 JSE-listed African entertainment company.”
The level at which video entertainment has penetrated Africa is quite low, even though it is the fastest growing continent by GDP and population. This is why MultiChoice is being unbundled with limited leverage so it can pursue other opportunities in video entertainment.
This new business aims to offer streaming services online including DSTV Now and Showmax.
Video entertainment CEO Imtiaz Patel declared that: “There are significant growth opportunities for MultiChoice Group in Africa. The combination of MultiChoice’s reach, Showmax and DStv Now’s cutting-edge internet television service, alongside Irdeto’s 360-degree security suite, will provide a unique offering.”
Naspers’ video entertainment business, one of the fastest growing pay TV operators worldwide, entertains about 13.5 million households all over Africa due to its multi-platform structure.
Networks across Africa have secured more than 300 hours of programming from BBC Studios, including the first deal of its kind with OTT service DSTV Now.
The service, from South African pay TV operator MultiChoice, has acquired a package from BBC Studios that includes an array of music and arts programming, ranging from Art of Scandinavia, Shakespeare Uncovered and Il Divo: A Musical Affair: Live in Japan.
Meanwhile, South African pubcaster SABC has added more than 80 hours of programming across natural history, factual and children’s. Shows include Blue Planet II and Planet Earth II, season 24 of Top Gear and preschool series Go Jetters.
The deal will see all shows premiering for the first time in the territory on free-to-air television.
Elsewhere, SVoD service iflix has concluded a second package deal for sub-Saharan Africa (excluding South Africa), with S1-5 of Citizen Khan, S1-8 of Hustle and Undercover all included. Iflix has also added drama duo The Aliens and The Refugees.