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MultiChoice discontinues DStv, GOtv mobile service

Pay television provider MultiChoice Kenya is set to discontinue mobile TV services citing fast-changing technology in the broadcasting sector and growing internet penetration.

In a notice to its customers Monday, the firm said its DStv and GOtv mobile service will be unavailable starting September 1.

MultiChoice unveiled the service in Kenya in 2011 after first launching it in Southern African markets in 2007.

The DVB-H (Digital Video Broadcasting – Handheld) television service was aimed at middle-class subscribers who wanted all-day access to its programmes.

Subscribers will now be required to access content on-the-go through the firm’s DStv Now app, which is available to its subscribers.


“Our Mobile TV service was first launched in 2007. At the time, we were the first to pioneer technology to broadcast to mobile mobile phones. However, as technology has evolved, and with the introduction of broadband, the streaming of audiovisual content to multiple devices (eg smartphones, tablets, laptops) has become more attractive,” said MultiChoice in a statement.

“DVB-H-based mobile TV broadcasting, along with the range of devices used to access this technology, have reached their end of life. The DStv Mobile and GOtv Mobile TV Service will therefore end on Saturday September 1.”

The pay TV provider’s first mobile product relied on internet connection from telephony operators before the firm later launched DStv Drifta which converted DVB-H signal into Wi-Fi for mobile devices. The Drifta cut subscriber reliance on data from telephony operators and also allowed DStv and Go-tv mobile subscribers to access multiple channels.

Internet-based broadcasters are gradually eating into the market by offering similar content, with some like Hulu offering packages that only require users to only pay for viewed matches.

In addition, internet content curators and distributors are working tirelessly to make their streams as light as possible to target emerging markets.

Netflix, for instance, has been working on video compression technology that allows content streaming even over slow connections.