Industry Pay television
Founded 1995 (1995)
Headquarters Ferndale, Randburg, South Africa
Area served
Sub-Saharan Africa (Africa excluding North Africa & Somalia)
Services Television
Owners Multichoice
Website www.DStv.com

DStv (Digital Satellite Television) is a Sub-Saharan African direct broadcast satellite service owned by MultiChoice. The service launched in 1995 and provides multiple channels and services to their subscribers, which currently number around 11.9 million.[1] The majority of subscribers are in South Africa and Nigeria, with Kenya, Ghana, Angola, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Mauritius, Mozambique, Tanzania, Lesotho, Ethiopia, The Peoples Republic of Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Swaziland and Botswana additionally served by the company.


  • 1986 – Pay-television came to South Africa when an analogue, single-channel service, M-Net, was launched by Naspers. For almost seven years, all M-Net's operations were handled by a single company.
  • 1993 – Naspers created a subsidiary company, Multichoice, which was to handle the business arm of M-Net, such as decoder sales, subscriber services and account management.[2]
  • 1995 – Multichoice announced that it was launching a new digital, satellite service in South Africa and, on 6 October 1995, DStv was officially activated to subscribers. The original selection of channels besides M-Net and SABC included MGM, Turner Classic Movies, TNT, Sci-Fi Universal, SuperSport, ESPN, SelecTV, Travel Channel, KTV, Cartoon Network, BBC World News, CNN International, Sky News, Rhema Network, MTV, VH1 and TV5Monde.
  • 2000 – Launch of W4 Eutelsat satellite with Ku-band services to sub-Saharan Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands.
  • 2002 – Launch of Interactive Television.
  • 2003 – Dual View decoder launched.
  • 2005 – The DStv PVR decoder and DStv Compact is launched. DStv Premium subscribers in South Africa cross the 1 million mark.
  • 2008 – Launch of DStv's first High Definition decoder the HD PVR, XtraView and the first HD channel, M-Net HD.
  • 2010DVB over IP (Digital Video Broadcast over Internet Protocol) and DStv on Demand service launched, as well as the HD PVR 2P and M-Net Movies 1 HD.
  • 2011 – DStv BoxOffice & DStv Mobile launched.
  • 2013 – DStv subscribers across Africa reach 6.7 million, with 4.5 million within South Africa.[3] Explora PVR launched.[4]
  • 2017 – DStv subscribers reach 11.9 million, while average revenue per user for personal video recorder (PVR) decoders decline slightly.[1]
  • 2018 - DStv reaches 13.5 million customers across Sub-Saharan Africa, with 7 million subscribers alone in South Africa.
  • 2018 - DStv PVR decoders reach 1.4 million.

Reception equipment

DStv has their set-top boxes manufactured by domestic company Altech UEC, along with Arris International. The choice of boxes include a standard box with "XtraView" capabilities, an older personal video recorder, and the newest PVR box known as the Explora. An additional decoder known as the Drifta allows the conversion of a DStv DVB-H signal to another digital device such as a laptop, tablet or smartphone for portable in-home viewing.[5]

DStv also offers the mobile app "DStvNow", which allows access to live television, video on demand, set-top box control and PVR scheduling.


  1. 1 2 "How much money MultiChoice makes per DStv subscriber". 2017-06-23. Retrieved 2018-02-17.
  2. "our-history". naspers.com. Retrieved 2016-01-25.
  3. "DStv – more subscribers, more money". mybroadband.co.za. 25 June 2013.
  4. "DStv Explora to Revolutionise TV in SA - detail". Multichoice. Archived from the original on 2 December 2013. Retrieved 2014-02-22.
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