African cable TV, MultiChoice, has asked the South African government to ensure level playing field among pay-TV operators to compete with over-the-top players.

Multichoice, the owner of DSTV, lost 41,000 high-end subscribers who use its Premium decoder last year owing to threats posed by Netflix and Amazon, the online streaming giants.

The financial result for the year ended March 31, 2018, showed that the loss of high-end subscribers also drove down the Average Revenue Per User (ARPU).

Netflix entered into the South African market at the beginning of 2016 and has grown to over 400,000 subscribers in two years.

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In an interview with Business Day South Africa, Calvo Mawela CEO of MultiChoice South Africa at Naspers Limited said the loss was due to unregulated rivalry from the streaming company Netflix.

The CEO said the company (Netflix) is enjoying undue advantage and call on the South African government to regulate its services.

Mawela admitted that viewers' habits had changed, with people wanting to watch more content online. He said the company is exploring the possibility of offering a streaming-only package in direct battle with Netflix.

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The Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) is currently looking into the issue of the two streaming giants - Netflix and Amazon - as potential threats to MultiChoice's massive loss in subscribers and finances.

In Nigeria, the Pay TV has increased its DSTV subscription plans twice in less than two years despite opposition calls from the citizens. Unlike what is obtainable in other countries, Nigerian subscribers do not enjoy pay-as-you-use offer from the company.

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