DStv and Kwese bundling of channels good for us: A quick look at a real life example (Sky)

Leonard Sengere Avatar

We talked about how unbundling of channels by DStv and Kwese is actually good for us. We are not going to go deep into the reasons or the logic behind that again. Go read the article and the comments if you haven’t. We will however reiterate that unbundling may benefit some who have just one interest, available on just one channel. For the majority however it won’t lead to any savings.

Let us appreciate that sports content is the most expensive content to acquire. So for those sports enthusiasts just know that unbundling will hurt you the most. So the families are the ones subsidising sports content. Let us jump into the numbers for Sky to get a better picture.

Sky offers unbundled options and for Sky Sports here is what they offer:

  • One Sky Sports channel: £18 + £6 = £24/month
  • Two Sky Sports channels: £22 + £6 = £28/month
  • Three Sky Sports channels: £26 + £6 = £32/month
  • All Sky Sports channels: £27.50 + £2 = £29.50/month

(Note that the first figure is for the channel and the second is for the channel in HD.)

Right off the bat you can see the benefits of bundling. To get one channel in HD it costs £24 and two channels cost £28. This means the cost per channel falls from £24 to £14. For three channels it falls to less than £11. If you get all the Sky Sport channels (counting 8 channels) the cost falls to less than £4. If we count 10 Sky Sports channels it falls to less than £3.

Let us set costs per channel aside. In outright cost, getting all the channels costs less than getting 3 channels. It costs £2.50 more to get three channels than it does to get all. You pay £32 to get 3 channels and just £29.50 to get at least 8. I repeat, it costs less to get more.

We have considered just the sports channels but there are other bundles (bouquets) to review. There is a sports pack on offer also called a sports bundle which costs £40/month. This bundle offers ALL the Sky Sports channels and also an Entertainment pack which has over 35 channels.

Let us get this right. It costs £32 to get just 3 Sky Sports channels but if you add £8 you get all the other Sky Sports channels, that is at least 5 more sports channels. On top of that you get 35+ non sport channels. That sounds like a steal to me. If DStv and Kwese are to go the unbundling route, the bundled choice should never be taken away. It’s cheaper.

In the last article we had some lovely discussion in the comments section. Some thought the figures had been fabricated to support the writer’s opinion. Some demanded we look at real life examples, which we have done. I believe when we have such debates in the comments section it only leads to us all understanding better. I definitely benefited from the discussion. Let us never stop sharing what we think.





  1. Garikai Dzoma

    It is only cheaper because the money of people who don’t watch expensive stuff (sports) is used to subsidize those sports. This allows companies like Sky to make insane payments to leagues who in turn pay insane amounts to teams which proceed to make insane payments and purchases. Kicking around a leather ball is not worth €220 million. we enabling a feedback loop tht is amplified at every cycle

  2. Imi Vanhu Musadaro

    Don’t generalise the specific. A fair analysis takes into account at least 2 service providers. Using one example, conveniently allows you to select an example that suits your position. Sky’s pricing model, as described above, is designed to discourage subscriptions for “unbundled” channels. It is a marketing tactic. The focus of that pricing model is about selling you the full subscription. There is no consideration on the actual costs of service delivery, or convenience to the customer, thus is cannot be taken as a representation of the cost benefits of bundled vs unbundled channels. Even if we assume it does, unbundling channels does not force DSTV or Kwese to follow the outlined pricing model.

    As well, you have grossly misrepresented the Sky pricing model. From the Sky website (which ideally you should have taken time to visit) http://www.sky.com/skyq/buy/build if I don’t watch Sports I stand to make great savings. Those that watch sports incur an additional charge of at least 18 GBP. This can actually almost double ones subscription costs. Remember that there are actually a lot of people who don’t care about sport.

    Anyway, the truth of the matter is, one can only determine if unbundling would have benefits once DSTV or Kwese releases/suggests their pricing for unbundled channels.

  3. Sir Munoz

    ok. some pple enjoy the benefits of such nature unknowingly. but as such when the facts are presented, they may as well prove their ignorance by suggesting otherwise in a way that shows that they are indeed not appreciating the concepts.