by Thinus Ferreira
In an attempt to crack down on password-sharing and pirate-viewing, MultiChoice will limit DStv video streaming to one device at a time from 22 March.
From 22 March MultiChoice will no longer allow a DStv subscriber to stream DStv Catch Up content – either library content or a linear TV channel as a live stream – on more than one device at the same time.
MultiChoice only told its own staffers on Tuesday about the decision, shortly before posting a notification to DStv subscribers on the MultiChoice website.
MultiChoice didn’t bother to tell the media or to communicate through emailing a basic press release detailing the changes from its own corporate communications team or the two PR companies, Duma Collective or JR Communications that MultiChoice has on retainer and pay to liaise with the media.
In a memorandum to MultiChoice staff on Tuesday, Nyiko Shiburi, MultiChoice South Africa CEO said that streaming services like that which MultiChoice provides, are challenged by password-sharing and piracy.
“This has a devastating effect on the growth of the entertainment industry generally. Therefore, streaming providers are compelled to take steps to address these activities.”
Nyiko Shiburi said that MultiChoice is clamping down on allowing its customers from watching more than one live stream from 22 March 2022 and that “We will be communicating to customers regarding this today”.
On its DStv website, MultiChoice later on Tuesday said “Password sharing and piracy are challenges for streaming providers globally”.
“As part of our ongoing efforts to counteract password sharing and piracy, while continuing to bring you the best viewing experience, we will be introducing measures to limit concurrent streaming. From 22 March 2022 customers will be limited to streaming DStv on one device at a time. They will still be able to watch previously downloaded content on a second device.”
MultiChoice says the change is being made to all DStv subscriptions across Africa but that “only customers making use of more than one concurrent stream will be directly affected by the change.”
MultiChoice says the pay-TV operator “will not limit the number of people using a login, however, we are limiting (to one) the number of people who can at the same time.”
If for instance, someone in a household is watching live streaming of a linear TV channel, someone else in the household won’t be able to watch an episode of a series on another device or do binge-watching.
MultiChoice says that offline viewing is not impacted by this change and that the number of devices a DStv subscriber can have registered for streaming does not change with up to 4 registered devices that are allowed.
Showmax subscribers are not impacted and the change only applies when streaming DStv.