Pay TV operator MultiChoice will give its customers free access to online learning services until July in an effort to keep subscribers on its platform.
The DSTV operator has said that customers will have access to 600 free courses offered by online learning platform Udemy until the end of July, through the DSTV app.
Udemy is an online learning and teaching marketplace with over 100,000 courses and 24-million students, in which MultiChoice’s former parent company, Naspers, invested $60m (R1.1bn) in 2016.
DSTV Premium customers, who have been leaving the platform in worrying numbers in recent years, will also receive a $5 (about R91) voucher to use on any of Udemy’s paid courses valid for a month. This translates into an almost 40% discount on the cost of most courses, said MultiChoice.
If all 8.2-million customers recorded in the first half of the 2020 financial year were to take up the offer, that would amount to a subsidy of $41m (about R748m).
In addition, DSTV Access customers will be able to view content from the 21 additional channels for the next month, while all new Compact Plus and Compact customers will now “pay for a month and get a month free” at R49 per month until the end of June.
Africa’s largest pay TV operator has likely felt the pinch of the COVID-19 crisis. On the one hand, people staying at home means more people watching video content, which is good for DStv. But on the other, the lockdown has meant a halt in current film and television productions, and also halted sport — a large draw card for the DSTV service.
The group had committed R80m ( towards salaries and wages for cast, crew and creatives affected by the nationwide lockdown, for the months of March and April.
Mark Rayner, CEO of MultiChoice SA, said in a statement: “As the nationwide lockdown continues, MultiChoice continues to provide an uninterrupted video entertainment subscription service with the best available content. We’re always looking for new and creative ways to add value for our customers — most recently during the current COVID-19 period.”