There will be no sports-only package on DStv

Canal+ Group chair and CEO Maxime Saada has confirmed that DStv will not offer a sports-only package under new ownership. This statement follows an interview with News24 after the MultiChoice board approved Canal+’s acquisition offer for the South African media group.

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Saada dismissed the idea of sports-only and choose-your-own-channels packages, stating, “Everyone who has tried this has failed.” He argued that the primary drivers of subscriptions are discounts and sports. He noted that Canal+ experiences subscriber spikes during major sports events, whereas movies do not have the same impact.

Saada emphasized that while sports fans often enjoy cinema, the reverse is not necessarily true. He also expressed disagreement with MultiChoice’s strategy of diversifying into industries such as security, fintech, and betting. Canal+ focuses solely on content and content distribution, according to Saada.

Some of MultiChoice’s non-entertainment ventures include Namola, BetKing, and Irdeto. Saada’s comments followed the release of a joint circular by Canal+ and MultiChoice detailing plans and dates for the proposed buyout of the DStv operator at R125 per share.

The circular addressed the fate of shareholders who choose not to sell, reiterated Canal+’s intention to list on the JSE, and discussed potential approaches to South Africa’s foreign ownership restrictions on broadcasters.

Canal+ has been gradually acquiring MultiChoice stock since October 2020, reaching a 35% threshold at the beginning of the year, which triggered a mandatory buyout offer. After some negotiations and a reprimand from the Takeover Regulation Panel, Canal+ offered R125 per share, valuing MultiChoice at over R55 billion.

The buyout will cost Canal+ over R30 billion in cash, and the company continued purchasing MultiChoice shares while its offer was under consideration. The circular indicated that Canal+ had not acquired any additional shares since 10 May 2024. As of the last report from the Takeover Regulation Panel in May, Canal+’s shareholding in MultiChoice stood at 45.2%.