A business model that drives value

Inputs: the resources and relationships that sustain our business

Financial capital

  • Robust balance sheet including healthy cash balances and gearing levels
  • Access to undrawn facilities, with capacity to increase gearing in the business
  • Strong relationships with shareholders, banking partners and satellite transponder lessors

Technology and platforms

  • Specialised engineering experience, supported by tight integrations with partners and suppliers
  • Dedicated software programming and development capabilities notably in our Irdeto and Connected Video segments
  • Broad DTH satellite footprint across sub-Saharan Africa
  • A DTT network covering 123 cities in eight countries(1)
  • OTT services through DStv via Streaming and Showmax
  • Access to the Peacock technology platform, which employs world class engineers and streaming capabilities
  • Many supporting digital technologies, e.g. in customer service, billing, playout, archiving, scheduling, advertising, and security/encryption
  • A range of production capabilities from smaller-scale school sports matches to top-end professional sports events
  • Access to next generation aggregation devices over time

Industry expertise

  • MultiChoice has 38 years’ video entertainment industry experience and a unique understanding of the African continent
  • Market leadership in paid video entertainment across a footprint of 50 countries
  • Deep experience in critical operational fields such as content licensing, local general entertainment and sports production, satellite and terrestrial broadcasting, advertising sales, online and mobile streaming, as well as in regulation and administrative fields such as taxation
  • Unique understanding of customers’ entertainment preferences in different markets, as well as broader consumer needs
  • Irdeto has 53 years of experience in digital content security solutions and is growing its range of cybersecurity services


  • 7100 permanent employees (FY22: 7 204)
  • Inclusive, performance-oriented customer-and people-centric culture
  • A network of 7 664 accredited installers and 2 983 independent service providers across Africa (FY22: 7 052 and 2 912 respectively)
  • Robust group and segmental management structures, with the group providing oversight and support, and segments responsible for execution
  • Requisite breadth and depth of talent across creative pursuits, engineering, software development, digital enablement, operations, legal, regulatory and finance
  • Access to global leading industry experts in nascent equity partnerships e.g. our partnership with Comcast, NBCUniversal and Sky
  • Supported by embedded HR teams at the group and business unit level

Customer, partner and supplier relationships

  • 23.5m 90-day active subscribers (FY22: 21.8m)
  • 382 business to business (B2B) security customer relationships through Irdeto (FY22: 392)
  • 935 B2B advertising customer relationships through DStv Media Sales (FY22: 1 060)
  • Relationships with local and international content providers, key satellite and uplink technology providers and cloud service providers
  • Equity-based partnerships with industry leaders to grow and expand in target verticals outside our core video business e.g. in sports betting and fin-tech
  • Wholesale and distribution partnerships with leading third-party service providers e.g. in telecommunications and streaming
  • Preferential procurement initiatives in South Africa

Corporate citizenship

  • Relevant licences issued by regulators across Africa, renewed as and when necessary
  • Proactive and collaborative relationships with governments and regulators
  • Local communities who support our business and collectively produce film and sport talent in the countries in which we operate
  • Local entrepreneurs supported through the MultiChoice Innovation Fund
  • Beneficiaries of the Phuthuma Nathi BBBEE scheme
  • Although we are resource light, we use electricity, diesel and water in our operations but are doing so in a responsible way

(1) Excludes operations in South Africa where our GOtv signal is distributed by Sentech.

Business activities: our group’s collective undertakings in an expanding ecosystem

(1) Showmax partnership with Comcast, NBCUniversal and Sky effective from April 2023 i.e. falls into FY24.
(2) General entertainment content. Numbers exclude religion, specialist, free to air (FTA) and audio channels. Proprietary channel count includes channel brand variations for different regional or cultural preferences and/ or dialects. International channel count excludes specialist Indian, French and Chinese language channels.
(3) Channel count includes regional variations for Africa and Nigeria.
(4) Also includes our DStv Business packages and add-on packages such as our French, Indian, Portuguese and Chinese channel packages on DStv in Rest of Africa which are not shown in the graphic above.
(5) Irdeto also provides services to external customers outside of the group.
(6) Moment was in early start-up phase in FY23.

Outputs: our products and services

  • Offers services in 50 markets
  • Six bouquets at price points ranging from ZAR29 to ZAR879 in South Africa and from USD6 to USD63(1) in Rest of Africa
  • 156 linear video channels on average across DStv Premium package(2)
  • Additional content and language packages, e.g. ADD Movies, DStv Indian
  • Connected devices, e.g. DStv Explora Ultra and Streama, and mobile apps, e.g. DStv and MyDStv apps
  • Catch Up, Box Sets, Downloads and BoxOffice (movie rentals) services
  • Offers services in South Africa and eight markets in Rest of Africa
  • Five bouquets at price points ranging from USD2 to USD15(1)
  • 67 linear video channels on average across GOtv Supa package(3)
  • MyGOtv app
  • DStv via Streaming service offered as a value-added service for DTH customers or as a standalone streaming service at a discounted price to our linear services due to lower customer acquisition and support costs
  • SVOD service, Showmax, is available in 46 markets with standard, mobile and sport (Showmax Pro) offerings
  • It has localised content offerings in four markets, and DStv add-to-bill options and localised payments in 11 markets
  • SuperSport Schools is a free to access, online school sports video platform (also a dedicated channel on DStv) that covers 37 school sports codes
  • Commercial airtime sales across 227 live linear video channels
  • Additional advertising options via owned and operated websites and apps, social media platforms, sponsorships and through VOD services
  • Cybersecurity and anti-piracy services to the group plus external customers
  • Operates in 78 countries, across multiple industries including media security, gaming and connected transport, and is developing a presence in nascent areas such as connected health

Value-added products and services

New products and services added to our ecosystem to enhance our value proposition to customers in the home include:

  • Four DStv Insurance products
  • Fixed-wireless LTE and fibre services via DStv Internet
  • Third-party SVOD services with global partners (Netflix, Disney+, Prime Video, YouTube and YouTube Kids)
  • Sports betting (KingMakers)
  • On-demand emergency services through Namola (B2C) and AURA (B2B)
(1) Certain markets have package structures and package names tailored for in‑market preferences, (e.g. Nigeria, Angola and Tanzania) and therefore differ slightly from our typical package tiering. Rest of Africa pricing in US dollars varies by market due to exchange rates and in-market pricing dynamics – averages for core markets excluding Portuguese markets shown.
(2) Measured across South Africa and 11 core Rest of Africa markets.
(3) Measured across eight Rest of Africa GOtv markets.

Outcomes: how we create, preserve or erode value in our capitals

Financial capital

  • Resilient free cash flow generation enabled us to grow our capital base, while also allowing us to meet our obligations to capital providers


  • Cash increased to ZAR7.5bn
  • We repaid ZAR2.6bn in capital and interest to our lessors (FY22: ZAR2.6bn)
  • Repaid debt of ZAR3.6bn, and concluded a new term loan of ZAR12.0bn, with an initial first tranche draw down of ZAR8.0bn which leaves ZAR4.0bn in undrawn headroom
  • We paid our lenders ZAR511m in interest (FY22: ZAR160m)
  • Shareholder equity decreased by ZAR2.7bn to ZAR5.3bn(1)
  • 1.08x (FY22: 0.76x) leverage ratio and ZAR5.0bn (FY22: ZAR5.0bn) in undrawn group borrowing facilities at year-end

Technology and platforms

  • As technology ages and fixed assets incur wear and tear, we invested in maintaining and enhancing our technology base
  • We also continued to improve our customer user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) across our linear and streaming entertainment platforms, delivering better content discovery and personalisation


  • We incurred ZAR2.5bn in depreciation (FY22: ZAR2.5bn)
  • We invested ZAR1.2bn in capital expenditure (FY22: ZAR1.1bn)
  • We invested ZAR0.2bn (FY22: ZAR0.3bn) in our technology modernisation project and ZAR0.1bn as part of IT hardware refresh cycle and a finance systems upgrade (FY22: ZAR0.1bn)
  • Irdeto reached a peak of 7.2bn (FY22: 4.3bn) streams secured monthly

Industry expertise

  • We operate a 24/7, 365 days a year service in an industry that is constantly evolving
  • To remain competitive requires perpetual refinement and improvement across all our business functions
  • We also invested in our systems, processes, and areas of competitive advantage like the production of local content
  • We continued to track viewing behaviour through our DStv-i technology and connected devices to refine our offering
  • We continued to use surveys, including conjoint research, to inform our product and pricing decisions


  • We invested ZAR20.9bn in our total content bill (FY22: ZAR19.5bn), of which we spent ZAR8.1bn on local general entertainment and sport content (FY22: ZAR7.3bn)


  • As is typical of any large corporation, employee turnover could gradually erode our people capital
  • However, our hiring, learning and development, and internal promotion processes more than offset this risk
  • We continue to focus on equity and diversity, notably with regard to gender across the group and BBBEE in our South African operations


  • We invested ZAR205m in skills development (FY22: ZAR213m)
  • We formally trained 1 319 employees (FY22: 2 527)


  • 47% of our employees were women (FY22: 48%)
  • 86% of our South African employees were black as defined in the BBBEE Codes of Good Practice (FY22: 86%)

Customer, partner and supplier relationships

  • Our focus on delivering value for our customers on a daily basis is the key to preserving our customer relationships
  • We create and preserve supplier and partner relationships through mutually beneficial collaboration which can take the form of contractual and/or equity-based relationships


  • We delivered net subscriber adds of 1.7m (FY22: 0.9m)(2)
  • We achieved a 78% customer satisfaction (CSAT) score in South Africa (FY22: 78%)
  • In the Rest of Africa, we achieved a CSAT score for DStv of 74% (FY22: 73%) and 70% for GOtv (FY22: 69%)
  • Call migration to digital self-service reached 75% (FY22: 75%) for South African and 87% (FY22: 76%) for Rest of Africa
  • We spent ZAR12.0bn with local South African suppliers (FY22: ZAR13.4bn)
  • Irdeto won four new tier-1 customers in its core Media Security segment, and 17 customers in new service lines

Corporate citizenship

  • We complied with all regulatory, licensing, reporting and tax requirements
  • From a community perspective, we supported several important CSI initiatives over and above the value we provide through our services and our industry investments
  • From an environmental perspective, we have a light carbon footprint with several ongoing initiatives in place to further minimise our impact


  • We invested ZAR285m(3) in CSI initiatives (FY22: ZAR298m)
  • Our MultiChoice Innovation Fund supported nine new businesses (FY22: 24) and disbursed ZAR52m to beneficiaries (FY22: ZAR75m)
  • We paid ZAR1.5bn in dividends to Phuthuma Nathi shareholders (FY22: ZAR1.5bn)
  • Our total tax contribution was ZAR11.8bn (FY22: ZAR11.3bn)
(1) Decrease driven by net loss and dividend paid in FY23, partially offset by exchange gains on translation of foreign operations and fair value gains in the hedging reserve.
(2) Relates to 90-day active subscribers.
(3) Includes non-cash advertising contributions of ZAR106m in FY23 (FY22: ZAR123m).

Trade-offs: managing potentially competing outcomes across capitals and stakeholders

We manage our capitals to create and sustain long-term value for our stakeholders. In the short term, it is not always possible for all capitals (or the stakeholders who provide them) to benefit equally, and some capitals may benefit at the expense of others. When deciding how best to create, preserve or erode value we are often required to make trade-offs between capitals and stakeholders, and between short and long-term value creation.

Some areas where we made these trade-offs in FY23 are described below:

Pricing decisions

Pricing decisions create a trade-off between customer relationships and financial capital.

We need to accommodate cost increases and reinvestment in our business, while also considering shifts in consumer spending. We achieve a balance by controlling costs and investment spend, and by making research-based pricing decisions which factor in price elasticities, consumer price inflation, exchange rate movements, etc.

We aim for price increases at or slightly below inflation, but seek to accommodate specific in-market dynamics, (e.g. pressure on affordability) when necessary. For example, in FY23 we passed low single digit price increases for the Premium and Compact Plus packages in SA that were well below inflation but put through inflationary or slightly below inflation pricing in the bulk of our key markets outside of SA.

Cost savings and efficiencies

We aim to deliver positive operating leverage (i.e. organic growth in our cost base lower than the organic growth rate in our revenues) through cost savings and efficiencies. In FY23, cost saving measures delivered ZAR1.3bn (FY22: ZAR1.2bn), which protected our financial capital by generating positive organic operating leverage of 0.39%, but required a trade-off as some of our suppliers were impacted by these difficult decisions. Loadshedding and ongoing economic pressure in South Africa negatively affected customer activity and revenue generation, which negatively impacted cost recovery.

As part of our culture of driving efficiencies, we carefully monitor content viewership. Where content is not performing, we may remove it from our platform if we can’t agree on commercial terms that fairly reflect its value to our viewers. This may impact some of our customer relationships, but this trade-off is typically balanced by reinvestment elsewhere in our content portfolio.

Shareholder returns

Our shareholders have varying requirements in terms of returns, with some expressing a desire for steady or higher dividend payments relative to annual free cash flow generation, while others are supportive of reinvestment into existing and new business opportunities. Dividend payments require a number of trade-offs:

  • Sustainability: we need to operate sustainably and require a certain level of operating cash in our business to manage working capital requirements and exogenous shocks. In particular we have to fund the cash losses in Rest of Africa and any shortfall created by USD liquidity restrictions in Nigeria.
  • Customer relationships: we reinvest cash in our business to continually improve our customer value proposition and services portfolio.
  • Short versus long-term returns: we see opportunity to create additional long-term value through our relationships with and insights into the daily needs of our 23.5m customer base.(1) We are actively pursuing a number of opportunities to grow and expand our business in core market segments, like streaming, and adjacent market segments like sports betting and fin-tech.

Gearing levels

Since our listing, we have demonstrated a propensity to use gearing to optimise our capital structure and enhance long-term shareholder returns through targeted investment in attractive opportunities.

Our leverage could be increased further from current levels, but we have adopted a balanced approach to avoid adding undue financial risk to operational risk at a time when we are in the process of returning our Rest of Africa business to sustainable cash flow generation.

We are also cognisant of the upward trend in the interest rate cycle and the tax deductibility of interest on borrowing costs.

Business model evolution

In an increasingly connected world with global content giants offering broader choice through direct-to-consumer streaming options at lower average ARPUs and no upfront costs to consumers, our traditional linear pay-TV business model is impacted in a number of ways which requires us to make trade-offs between our financial capital, our customer relationships, and our supplier relationships.

The net effect of this on content (original vs licensed) is that we are:

  • increasing our investment in local (original) content by funding it directly or through partnerships
  • producing and licensing the best in local and global sport content
  • still licensing great international content from Hollywood studios and independents
  • entering into distribution agreements with global VOD platforms for content services we know our subscribers want to see (i.e. aggregation)

The net effect of this on distribution is that we are:

  • Investing to evolve our linear pay-TV offering to include complimentary transactional and streaming VOD services, on-demand and library capabilities, hybrid viewing environments and/or direct streaming alternatives
  • Investing behind our dedicated streaming services (content, technology and branding)

Supporting DTH, DTT and OTT broadcasting and streaming infrastructure as the industry evolves.

(1) Relates to 90-day active subscribers.