During the start of this season’s Barclays Premier League, DSTV made an operation shift that locked out most Kenyans from watching their favourite English clubs play every week. They moved major EPL action from SuperSport 3, which was available on the Compact Plus plan, to SuperSport 5 – available on the Premium plan only.
There were a lot of complaints on social media, but we’re yet to confirm if the South Africans did anything about it.
As if that was not enough, subscribers were hit with this price review message yesterday.
Kenyans took their fury to Twitter, with many wondering why Multichoice has never reviewed their prices downwards when the Shilling was doing well vs the dollar.
— TRENDING KENYA (@TRENDINGKENYA) September 2, 2015
COFEK has started collecting signatures in what may translate to legal action, but we’ll see where that goes. The increase was even more painful to Kenyans when they learnt that they have been paying almost Sh3000 more than South Africans for the premium package.
The hashtag #BoycottDSTVKE has been trending since Wednesday, but we’re yet to see a proper response from Multichoice Kenya.
For all intents and purposes, Sh9400 for TV is stupid. In the UK for example, Sky’s sports bundle is £45 (Sh7,200). This comes with so many goodies it makes DSTV’s Premium fade in comparison. For instance, they give you a free laptop.
Still in the UK it’s even cheaper with BT. For half what DSTV is charging us, they give you everything plus unlimited internet.
You would expect Pay TV to be expensive in a country where the people’s average monthly income is about 20 times ours, but that’s not the case.
So it’s only logical that we look for alternatives.
Here are a few.
(I) GETTING STABLE INTERNET
1. Move to a Flat with DSTV or talk to your landlord
I don’t know how legal this is, but I know many people who leave in flats where DSTV is just plug n play. Somehow, the owners of the flats are able to give their tenants access to premium content, mostly for free, or for a cost not exceeding Sh1000.
There was a time MultiChoice was cracking down on such practices, but I do not know whether they are all illegal.
2. Get Zuku Triple Play
This is the Zuku which is delivered to your house via fibre. They are not famous for having the best customer care, but when it works fine at your place, you’ll probably never look back.
The major drawback is their limited coverage.
You’ll be able to enjoy most of the channels offered on DSTV (with exception of English football), starting at Sh3000 per month. For that amount, you also get 1mbps of unlimited internet.
However, the purpose of this article is to show you how to access football, so I would recommend you go for the Zuku 10mbps or the 20mbps plan, going for Sh4,299 and Sh5,499 respectively.
Stick around to see how you can view HD football for that amount.
3. Get Faiba
Again, Faiba’s main drawback is their coverage and their tendency to deliver half the speeds advertised. However, their residential plan of 5mbps for Sh5000 per month should be good for football. Only problem is that you’ll need another TV provider because unlike Zuku, Jamii Telecommunications do not bundle TV and internet.
4. Get Safaricom Big Box
A lot has been said about Safaricom’s Big Box decoder, but most of those writing about it have not used it. It has been taken off the shelves until later this month, but you should consider it among your options.
Unlike Zuku and Faiba, Safaricom’s coverage is everywhere, and better if you’re in 4G areas in Nairobi. Characteristic of the mobile giant, they’re not offering unlimited options, but if you’re only looking for a platform to watch football, the 20Gb plan at Sh2000 can give you upwards of 30 games. Streaming each game at some good definition (Not 1080p) consumes about half a GB.
If you do other heavy downloads, this is definitely not yours, but for the average person, the 50GB plan at Sh4000 is enough.
5. Orange and Airtel
Orange and Airtel surprisingly have some good unlimited plans, but the problem is coverage. Their network speeds are not always suitable for heavy streaming, but if you receive a strong signal, you can give them a try.
(II) UTILIZING THAT INTERNET
Now, after you’ve sorted your home internet, let me show you how to receive proper world class content to your living room.
Go to This Link and download a software called TVMC.
This is your gateway to world class TV, premium football channels, premium US content like HBO, CW, Syfy etc… , premium documentaries, news and what have you.
TVMC is based on a software called KODI, but comes preconfigured with all you’ll need.
For football, here’s how to get started.
1. Install the software
Your homepage will look something like this.
2. ‘Phoenix’ will be you go-to place for football
After clicking it, select Phoenix TV (first option), and this will be your screen.
3. Select Sports and click Live Games/Events
All the live football matches will be listed there (only when there are matches going on)
4. Alternatively, select UK Sports
Your first stop should be Sky Sports 1, but if more than one game is been played at a time, you’ll find your game in at least one of the options.
5. Alternatively, select USA/Canada Sports, then select NBCSN
This gives you an option of either 720p or 1080p. If you have good internet speeds, the 1080p should be excellent without buffering, but if not, you can use 720p.
*At the time of this writing, there were no live games in progress, so I tested with a replay of Monday Night Raw.
Finally, if you’re doing all this on your laptop, you’ll need a HDMI cable to connect that small screen to your flat screen and enjoy the best European football has to offer. A two metre cable goes for less than Sh500 in electronic shops.
TVMC software goes beyond football.
Here’s a screenshots of some of the US TV channels available for livestreaming.
And some news channels.
The channels are the real deal. For instance, the Fox and FX offered are not the African versions that air say ‘Empire’ several weeks late, but the American version that is on time.
TVMC also offers lots of documentaries and so much stuff you’ll never run out of options.
So, if you are among those finding their TV bill unacceptable, now you have options. Be advised that using such services is not always legal, so it’s better you make an informed decision.