It has become common to see complaints about the cost of DStv on social channels and this morning was no different.

Today’s topic of debate is how much cheaper Netflix is than DStv.

Now let’s be clear: we agree that Netflix is cheaper but R3 960 seems too good to be true and unfortunately it is because all that R3 960 is getting you is a Netflix subscription for two years.

This did get us thinking though, how much cheaper is Netflix compared to DStv?

The method

To answer this question we need to stipulate a few things.

Firstly, we will be working off of the assumption that you already own a TV and because of this, unavoidable TV license fees will be included in pricing for DStv and Netflix. TV licenses are calculated at R265 per year per the SABC’s guidelines.

We are not taking into account add-ons such as a VPN for Netflix or BoxOffice rentals from DStv.

We will be using the top tier subscription for both services which are DStv Premium (R959 PM, which includes installation) and Netflix’s UHD Tier ($11.99 PM).

Then, because DStv Premium includes a Showmax subscription we will be including the cost of a fibre internet connection in DStv’s pricing.

We have selected a 10Mbps fibre/ADSL package from Telkom as this is the recommended download speed required by Netflix to stream content in 4K.

Finally, as Netflix does not offer localised pricing at time of writing, we will be operating off of the exchange rate which currently sits at R13.36 for $1.

With that said, here is what we found:


Item Cost (over 24 months)
Subscription R23 016
TV License R530
Installation R0
Telkom 10Mbps Fibre/ADSL R19 368
Total R42 914


Item Cost (over 24 months)
Subscription R3 844.47
TV License R530
Installation R0
Telkom 10Mbps Fibre/ADSL R19 368
Total R23 742.47

Netflix wins, or does it?

So DStv will cost you R42 914 over 24 months while Netflix is a lot cheaper at R23 742.47.

However, if you don’t use Showmax you can remove the need for an internet connection from DStv and that brings the cost down to R23 546.

It is however, worth considering that unlike Netflix there is a ton of local content on offer through DStv. Channels such as AfricaMagic, Mzansi Magic and kykNET to name a few provide viewers access to local content. At time of writing there is very little, if any, African content on Netflix.

In addition DStv offers sports which is to our mind on of the biggest draw factors owing to the struggle we’ve had trying to stream sports legally online.

But something that DStv does better than Netflix can do is make things easy.

With DStv things are simple especially for those that aren’t technically inclined. You hit a button on a remote and DStv works. And when it doesn’t work there is ample support infrastructure in place. If something goes wrong with Netflix, well there’s an FAQ page.

While we might sound like DStv fan boys (we most certainly are not) at the end of the day DStv is the more expensive option and if you aren’t fussed with sports or local content then perhaps it’s worth ditching the service in favour of streaming options.

So yes, Netflix is the cheaper option but one should really consider what they want from the entertainment they pay for. If you really want to save money sign-up for Showmax which only costs R99 per month and gives you access to African content.

At the end of the day you as the consumer have the choice of paying DStv R23 016 over 24 months or Netflix R3 844.47 over 24 months so it doesn’t really matter which is cheaper because ultimately it boils down to what you want to spend your money on.


[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]
Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.