South Africa: DSTV’s exclusive sport rights under threat


The South African government is looking to end DStv’s monopoly over South African sports broadcasting.

Last week, the African National Congress (ANC) shared a policy that prevents national sporting teams and associations from offering exclusive broadcasting rights.

DStv has a few good selling points, one of which is it’s exclusive sports broadcasting rights which gives it access to the SuperSports channels, where high-profile global sports events like the English Premier League are broadcasted. In fact, the SuperSports channels are the biggest offerings for DStv’s most expensive bouquet, DStv Premium.

Exclusive rights or assignments mean that only one party can perform a certain action. Here, it means that DStv has entered into an exclusive streaming partnership with SuperSports, so SuperSports cannot enter into the same agreement with other television networks, or allow them to stream SuperSports channels.

In the past few years though, DStv has come under heat for this exclusive right which has given it monopoly over broadcasting on the continent. Many other broadcasters are struggling as they can’t stream high-profile sports events.

In 2020, Nigeria ordered Multichoice—DStv’s parent company—to share its streaming access with other broadcasting networks in the country, but the network is yet to comply.

South Africa has also taken a couple of steps to curb DStv’s monopoly. Last year, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa’s (ICASA) inquiry recommended that DStv’s exclusive rights be nullified.

Now, the ANC also wants to make it impossible for sports teams in South Africa to sell their rights exclusively to DStv or any other broadcasting company

DStv now has 2 South African regulators on its tail, and both want to extinguish its exclusive rights. ICASA has relaunched its inquiry and will be checking if DStv’s wings should be clipped, and ANC will decide if it’s time to limit DStv’s exclusivity to South African sports.


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