M-Net recently launched GOtv in South Africa, offering a pay-TV service over the country’s digital terrestrial television (DTT) network.
You need a UHF antenna and one of GOtv’s DTT decoders to receive the service, which it said will be on sale for R699.
At launch, GOtv will offer two packages: GOtv Value for R99 per month and GOtv Lite for R45 every 3 months.
GOtv Value is priced the same as DStv Access, raising the question: How do MultiChoice’s two services compare to one another?
To compare the two services, we begin with the once-off equipment and installation costs.
Pay-TV serviceDecoder + antenna/dishNotes
DStvR799 or R99 per month x 24Includes installation, excludes subscription.
GOtvR998 (R699 decoder+R299 Gotenna)Excludes installation, includes 1 month subscription.
The table above shows that a full GOtv installation is more expensive than DStv.
Looking at the best case scenario for the DTT service – households which have a UHF antenna installed – a full DStv installation works out roughly R200 more expensive than GOtv.
This may be a trade-off many will make if you compare the channels available on the two platforms – as detailed below.
CategoryGOtv ValueDStv Access
EntertainmentM-Net Movies ZoneM-Net Movies Zone
Africa Magic EpicAfrica Magic Epic Movies
Mzansi WethuMzansi Wethu
Mzansi BioskopMzansi Bioskop
CBS Reality
Africa Magic World
SABC Encore
Documentaries and LifestyleTLC EntertainmentTLC Entertainment
The Home Channel
Fashion TV
Nat Geo Wild
The Good Life Network
SportSuperSport BlitzSuperSport Blitz
SuperSport SelectSuperSport Select
Kids and TeenNickToons
Disney JuniorDisney Junior
Cartoon Network
MusicChannel OChannel O
Mzansi Magic MusicMzansi Magic Music
One Gospel
Emmanuel TV
News and Commerce
BBC World News
Al Jazeera
Russia Today
Parliamentary Service
CCTV 9 News
CNBC Africa
Business Day TV
NDTV 24×7
Specialist and ForeignCCTV 4

Why would you choose GOtv Value over DStv Access?

The comparison above shows that DStv Access offers almost all the channels on GOtv Value, and a whole lot more.
Add to that the relatively small difference in once-off costs between the two services, and one can’t help but wonder why anyone would choose GOtv Value over DStv Access.
MultiChoice chief operating officer Mark Rayner said that what they’ve seen in other countries in Africa where they’ve launched GOtv is that many families see a satellite dish as a long-term investment.
For families that find themselves moving around a lot, GOtv is more portable than DStv.
“GOtv is also simpler,” he said, in terms of its installation and proposition.
Unlike DStv, GOtv also doesn’t charge a reconnection fee when you let your subscription lapse.
Rayner said the number of channels available on GOtv is currently limited by the bandwidth Icasa has assigned them.
For this reason they decided to select 12 of the more popular channels from their entry-level packages for the GOtv bouquet.