Various announcements have come out of DStv over the past week regarding their switch-up of packages, channels and streaming services in response to the COVID-19 crisis.
There's also been news about pop-up channels.
To help you make sense of the mayhem, we've compiled this info. pack detailing the changes they've made, including the services that are free for all South Africans.
Here's a blow-by-blow:
DStv Now app - select channels: free to everyone
The DStv online app can be downloaded by anyone and can be used on a phone, tablet, computer or smart TV.
The app is free but you need to use your own data/fibre etc. to stream the content.
Here's a link to it: DStv Now
The channels that can be streamed by non-DStv subscribers are:
- BBC World News
- Sky News
- SABC News
- Newzroom Afrika
- People's Weather
- SuperSport Play
- PBS Kids
- Channel O (Music channel)
- TBN (Christian TV channel)
On Friday and Saturday nights, Channel O features virtual Lockdown parties by DJs pH and Shimza called #LockdownHouseParty.
They spin the decks from 18h00 to midnight with their DJ pals as guests, including Dj Maphorisa, Black Motion, Dj Zinhle, MFR Souls, Earful Soul, Ms Cosmo, DJ Fresh and Mo Flava.
This is currently scheduled to air until Saturday, 11 April 2020.
They're also including episodes from long-running shows like Binnelanders, The River and Isibaya, which gets a loud "Bah!" from us.
Who wants to watch a few episodes and then have them ripped away?!
Yet again, it's more of DStv's naysty "now you see it / now you don't" mentality.
There's no clarity as to how long the free window will last but we presume it's for the duration of the COVID crisis, however that can be defined.
New channel Africanews on 417 - from Access to Premium
Africanews launched on the Premium to Access packages on Friday, 20 March and covers news from the continent.
It's a multi-lingual channel that covers political, social, cultural and business news from the continent's 54 countries. It describes itself as "the voice of the continent".
This is a full-time new channel.
Four other channels extended to Access:
These channels are now on Access, Family, Compact, Compact Plus and Premium:
CNN (Channel 401):
American news channel and Trump's biggest enemy.
Da Vinci (318):
an educational children’s channel inspired by Leonardo Da Vinci which encourages children to explore, invent and pioneer.
This will be available for all the mentioned packages until the end of May and may be extended. According to MultiChoice, they "might keep it indefinitely until the business decides otherwise," so it's another "now you see it / maybe you won't situation."
famous kids’ channel. Series include Sponge Bob Squarepants, The Loud House, The Casagrandes and PAW Patrol.
This was announced as extending to Access, Family and Compact until Tuesday, 14 April - before the lockdown dates were announced so they should extend to Friday, 17 April.
SuperSport 7 (207):
This covers the La Liga Spanish football league, which is currently out of action so they've turned it into a "Best of football" channel until the league starts again.
SuperSport 1: swaps matches for documentaries - extends to Compact Plus and Compact
Because all sporting matches are off, SS1 now features sporting documentaries, sport movies and a presented block called SuperSport GrandStand between 17h00 and 21h00 where SuperSport presenters host a studio show that focuses on themed content from a specific sporting genre.
Between 13h00 and 17h00 daily, it features a Viewers’ Choice block where viewers’ social media suggestions on their favourite sporting moments will determine the content.
The channel's been extended to Compact Plus and Compact too now - for how long, we know not.
It's on Channel 201.
M-Net Binge Pop-Up for Premium and Compact Plus bouquets
An M-Net Binge /HBO channel popped-up on the Premium and Compact Plus bouquets on Friday, 27 March at 19h00, on Channel 114.
It broadcasts between 18h00 and 06h00, from Mondays to Sundays and features a mix of HBO shows and movies.
Titles include Six Feet Under, Bands of Brothers, Game of Thrones (Yawn), The Night of, Banshee, The Leftovers, The Newsroom and Girls.
Documentaries air on Saturdays up until 21h00, followed by another episode of Game of Thrones, which airs in the same slot during the week.
Series that have aired exclusively on streamer Showmax will air on Sundays like so:
: His Dark Materials
20h00 and 21h00:
Succession (two episodes a night)
These are followed by 6 episodes of Sex & The City at 22h00, and an HBO movie at 01h00.
End date unspecified.
Mzansi Magic (Channel 161) extended to Family and Access
This will be on Family and Access too, until Friday 17 April.
Tom Cruise Pop-Up Channel on Premium
Are you over his crazed jumping on Oprah's couch
yet? We're not!
If you are, this channel's airing approximately 30 of his movies including Top Gun, Rain Man, Far And Away and the Mission Impossibles.
Toonami Pop-Up channel on Access to Premium
This launches on Channel 300 on Sunday, 29 March until Thursday, 30 April 2020 - on Access, Family, Compact, Compact Plus and Premium.
Africa Easter Channel Po-Up on Access to Premium
This channel launches on Thursday, 9 April 2020 and features church sermons from different denominations and gospel artists including Lebo Sekgobela, Dr. Tumi, Hillsong, William McDowell and Sis Ribs.
It runs until Monday, 13 April.