Choosing between Zuku and Netflix versus DSTV: A Detailed Comparison

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Zuku and Netflix versus DSTV
Comparing Zuku and Netflix versus DSTV
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Comparing Zuku and Netflix versus DSTV

With Netflix’s recent announcement to bring its content to an additional 130 countries globally, including all of Africa, you are probably wondering if you should sign up. Netflix is the world’s largest provider of streaming movie and TV content. This includes it’s own content developed in house like House of Cards, and Daredevil, to content from all the major Hollywood movie studios and TV studios. The amount of content that you will have available to you, on demand, is simply staggering. However as Netflix requires a good and unlimited internet connection, you may wonder if this additional cost is value adding considering that you may already be a DSTV subscriber. We will break the costs of having a just a DSTV subscription versus a broadband (fiber) network plus a Netflix subscription. This will help you decide which option best fits your needs.

Content Providers

Zuku and Netflix versus DSTV
Zuku Broadband packages in Kenya.

We will compare DSTV, the leading TV content provider in Kenya versus Zuku the leading broadband ISP (whom also have TV services under their Triple Pay umbrella). There are a few things to note:

  • Coverage – Zuku currently only provides broadband internet service in Nairobi and Mombasa, while DSTV’s coverage is much larger across the nation.
  • Premier League – DSTV is the only licensed provider of Barclays Premier League coverage in this region. If this is important to you, then you have no choice but to subscribe to the DSTV Premium bouquet that provides full BPL coverage (KES 9,400). The DSTV Compact Plus bouquet only offers 2 live games per weekend. The only other way to legally watch BPL content on the web is through subscribing to your team’s online club membership and then accessing the content there (though often delayed for several days). Examples of this are ArsenalTV, Chelsea TV or MUTV etc.

Content Type

Zuku and Netflix versus DSTV
DSTV Bouquets on offer in Kenya.

The key advantage of DSTV (other than BPL coverage) is that they provide content shortly after they are shown in the United States. For example, if you follow the Scandal series, it will be aired on DSTV just an hour later after it is broadcast on ABC in the United States. As DSTV is the incumbent provider, they have done an incredible job in securing rights for content that is unavailable on other providers.

NOTE: Kenyan DSTV Subscribers can access DSTV content online via DSTV NOW.

It is prudent to check and see if your favorite shows will be supported by the provider you choose, DSTV or Zuku + Netflix.

The key advantage of Netflix is having great, top tier content available to you wherever you have an internet connection. Thus if you wanted to watch an episode of Jessica Jones on your morning commute, the Netflix app affords you that flexibility. However one must note that streaming video consumes data rapidly, thus it is recommended that you use an unlimited and fast connection. Also note that Netflix does not offer offline viewing. It is strictly a streaming platform.

Zuku and Netflix versus DSTV
Netflix Content

Cost Comparison

We have chosen to compare the DSTV Compact Plus bouquet to the 10 Mbps Zuku Triple Pay package. Once we add the cost of Netflix, these two packages will be similar in price.

TV Bouquet Name DSTV Compact PLUS Zuku Premium
TV Bouquet Cost KES 6,400.00 KES 999.00
Internet Package Name n/a Infinte 10 – 10 Mbps Unlimited
Internet Access Cost n/a KES 4,099.00
Netflix (HD Access Pkg) n/a KES 1,000.00
TOTAL MONTHLY COST
KES 6,400.00 KES 6,098.00
*Installation (One time fee not included in the monthly cost) KES 10,200.00 KES 4,000 to KES 7,500 (location dependent)

As you can see above, the price differential between the Zuku and Netflix versus DSTV is very close. We should also take note of the following:

  • While the Infinite 10 broadband package comes with 62 channels included, I have added the Premium TV package for KES 999 to make it more on par with DSTV with respect to content and price. An alternative option would be upgrading to the Infinite 20 package (20 Mbps) at KES 5,300 and not upgrading to the Premium TV bouquet. This would make the price differential between Zuku and Netflix versus DSTV only KES 100.
  • I have chosen the $9.99  per month Netflix package over the $7.99 package for two reasons. First, this package allows streaming in HD, and second it allows streaming different Netflix content to two TV’s at the same time.
  • For ease of communication, I assume US $1 = KES 100. Please note that this actual figure changes on daily basis.

I also compared all the different channels offered on Zuku versus DSTV. I did not attempt to list all the specific content (series names etc) offered by Zuku, DSTV and Netflix. You can do that by visiting each of their respective websites listed at the end of this article.

Zuku and Netflix versus DSTV
Netflix packages in Kenya.

Channel Comparison

Here we look at the different channels offered on Zuku versus DSTV. I did not attempt to list all the specific content (series names etc) offered by Zuku, DSTV and Netflix. It is important to note that Netflix will give you substantial access to movies and series, in addition to what you already will have via the Zuku Premium TV  package.

  • Local Content Channels
DSTV Compact Plus Zuku Premium
KBC TV KBC
NTV NTV
KTN KTN
CITIZEN Citizen
K24 K24
Kiss (KE)
EBRU
QTV
Kass TV
UBC
3Stones TV
NBS Uganda
Clouds TV
WBS
Njata TV
Lolwe TV
 Inooro TV Inooro TV
GBS
  • Movie Channels
DSTV Compact Plus Zuku Premium
Dish (Interactive Channel) Zuku Entertainment
M-Net Action Zuku Movies Max
Universal_Channel Zuku Movies Max +2
Studio Universal Zuku Movies Action
Zuku Movies Action +2
  • Movie (African Content) Channels
DSTV Compact Plus Zuku Premium
Africa Magic AMC
Africa Magic Plus Zuku Nolly
Africa Magic Hausa
Africa Magic Yoruba
Africa Magic Swahili Zuku Swahili Movies
  • Sports Channels
DSTV Compact Plus Zuku Premium
Super Sport Blitz (Updates Channel) Zuku Sports HD
Super Sport 9 Zuku Sports
Super Sport 9 East Eurosport News
Select Sports MCS International
ESPN Kombat Sports
ESPN Classic MBC
Super Sport 7 Fox Sports
Super Sport 10 (EPL Live) Fox Sports 2
Trace Sport Stars Trace Sport Stars
Super Sport 3
Super Sport 5
  • Entertainment Channels
DSTV Compact Plus Zuku Premium
M-Net Series AMC USA
Magic World Africa ShortsTV
Sony Entertainment Television AMC Series
BET BET
BBC Brit FX
E! Entertainment E! Entertainment
CBS Reality Fox Entertainment
Sony Max Zuku Novella
e.tv Africa EATV
RAI
Vuzu
MCity
  • News & Commerce
DSTV Compact Plus Zuku Premium
BBC World BBC World News
CNN MSNBC
Al Jazeera Al Jazeera (English)
NDTV Fox News
CCTV News CCTV News
CNBC_Africa Sky News
Bloomberg Bloomberg
NN24 TVC News
CNC World i24 News (English)
Euronews (English)
DW-TV
Press TV
NHK World
  • Documentaries Channels
DSTV Compact Plus Zuku Premium
CCTV-9 CCTV 9 Documentary
Discovery World Zuku Life
Discovery ID Viasat Nature
National Geographic Viasat Explore
National Geographic Wild Viasat History
Viasat Crime
Nat Geo Gold
Discovery Science
  • Lifestyle Channels
DSTV Compact Plus Zuku Premium
Style_Network Fine Living Network
Fashion TV TLC
Food Network Fashion One HD
Discovery TLC Luxe.TV HD
Ginx TV
  • Religious Channels
DSTV Compact Plus Zuku Premium
One Gospel Hope TV
TBN Emmanuel TV
Rhema Network EWTN
Daystar God TV
Kingdom Africa Family TV
Islam Channel Fashion One
EWTN Global Catholic Network Inspiration TV
Inspiration TV Peace TV
TV Mundial Kaaba
Ahlulbayt TV
Hope International
Alerth Alnabawi
  • Kids Channels
DSTV Compact Plus Zuku Premium
Cartoon Network Zuku Kids
Boomerang Smile of a Child
Disney BabyTV
Disney XD Duck TV
Nickelodeon Nickelodeon
KIDCO JimJam
Disney Junior
Mindset Learn
  • Music Channels
DSTV Compact Plus Zuku Premium
Sound City One Music
Trace TV Kiss
Afro Music Kerrang!
MTV Base MTV Base
iConcerts
VH1
Box
Smash Hits
Magic
  • Foreign Language Channels
DSTV Compact Plus Zuku Premium
NHK Al Jazeera (Arabic)
France 24 (Arabic)
France 24 (English)
RTPi TV5 Monde Afrique
TV Brazil France 24 (French)
TV5 Monde I24 French
Dubai TV
Abu Dhabi TV
CCTV4 CCTV-4 (Chinese)
CCTV F Vox Africa

Conclusion

The best person to make a conclusion between Zuku and Netflix versus DSTV is you, the user. You will need to assess your needs and budget and determine which option works for you.

  • If you are Barclays Premier League fanatic, then you have no choice but to stay with DSTV.
  • If you are a “Cord Cutter” (meaning you are consuming all your content on the web and not on traditional media) then the combination of Zuku and Netflix is right for you.
  • If you love having access to the latest US shows as soon as possible, legally, then DSTV or Zuku and Netflix maybe right for you (depending on the show that you love).

Regardless of your choice, the fact that Netflix is now available across Africa puts the pressure on Incumbents like DSTV to improve their services and offer more competitive value to consumers. In the end, it is us, the consumers. who benefit the most.

I hope that this article has provided some information that will help you make the right decision on which  solution to fit your needs. If you have further any questions, please leave a comment in the Techweez forums. You can find out more about each of the providers discussed in this article via the links below:

DSTV

Zuku

Netflix

Edit:

  • Jan 7th 5:28pm Updated to reflect availability of DSTV Now to Kenyan DSTV subscribers.
  • Jan 8th 2:40pm Corrected channel offerings based on reader feedback. Typo and readability corrections.
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  • dudeonline

    Cost of broadband internet shouldn’t be on the comparison as many Dstv subs will have it anyway.

    • http://www.techweez.com/ Martin Gicheru

      Disruption affects even the incumbents, and when you realize you can do without a certain cost you drop it entirely. As commenters below here note, with good internet you have quite some options to access live football online.

  • Samuel

    Haha. Why would someone with a reliable Internet connection buy Dstv? Just get one of these IPTV services. Am a reseller so you can talk to me to get it.

    • http://www.techweez.com/ Martin Gicheru

      Choice, preferences and maybe lack of knowledge. Makes perfect sense to some, to get a solution that works and is familiar.

    • Samuel Musili

      How much does it cost?

      • Samuel

        Just $80 per year or $20 per month. All you need is an android powered device or kodi for PC/Mac.

        • natekev

          Hi Samuel… I’m interested. Please get in touch – kevoyugi (at) gmail. Thanks…

          • Samuel

            Hi. I got in touch. Note to all. The USD 20.0 is just for first 2 months. After the 2 months, it drops to USD 13.0.

    • Simon

      Hey Samuel, I may need to get in touch and talk more about Kodi and some of the things you’ve pointed out below.
      If possible, my number is 0732024600

      • Samuel

        Hey Simon. I’ll text you. Thanks for the interest in the service.

    • Macharia

      Is the IPTV still available am ready to take it mmwill08@gmail.com

      • Samuel

        Yes it is. I’ve emailed you.

  • John

    Streaming BPL games Mamahd.com u will get to watch all the matches no need for Dstv . to expensive for nothing

  • mikee Em

    So many softwares out there where you can wacth live football using some Internet.

    • http://www.techweez.com/ Martin Gicheru

      I concur Mikee

    • NairobiWP

      Hehehe. Hence why the article clearly refers to “legal” options. For the other options, well one could always use “google”. 🙂

      • mikee Em

        Some of them are also legal

  • jaylu

    They didn’t mention the number of times we watch repeated programmes on DSTV. Am not a football fun so Netflix will be of help here.

  • Kanyagia Mbatia

    Be informed…DStv Compact Plus now has both Super Sport 3 and 5.

    • Mwendwa

      Dstv compact plus has always had supersport 3. They recently introduced 5. The shows on dstv are repetitive. I subscribed this December and was thoroughly disappointed to see the same things I watched last December being aired. They don’t have new content on most of their channels. Just news channels have new information.

  • Daniel Kareruku

    Dstv got its match may be they will lower their cost in the near future.

  • Guantai

    Very informative, thanks.

  • Mwangi

    Just a note:
    – Inooro TV is on DStv.
    – Channel O was removed from DStv on March 2015.
    – iConcerts was removed from DStv sometime in 2013.
    – Zone Reality was closed back in 2009, replaced by CBS Reality.
    – Trace Sports Stars is on DStv
    – B4U Music is not available for Compact Plus
    – Add Vuzu and MCity 115 to Entertainment
    – BBC Entertainment (closed on Jan 1, 2016) was replaced by BBC Brit

    Bottom line, you got your channel line up from an old flyer. I am a DStv Compact Plus subscriber, only because I live 300km from good Internet.

  • Luide Kakembo

    Great article! One thing to seriously consider in light of all the above, is the indispensability of Unlimited Internet. If you pay 6400 to 9400 for DSTV then that would mean forking out an additional 4000 just to have internet (total cost 10000-14000), which, quite frankly, is a deal-breaker for me. I’d much rather find a way to stream the matches over the internet, which has so much inherent value outside of just entertainment.

    • NairobiWP

      Thanks for your feedback. If someone is yet to be convinced on the “indispensability of unlimited internet” as you so eloquently put it, then staying with traditional media consumption is perfect for them. However as most users of the internet have found out, once you start using it, you will always want to use more.

  • #KOT

    You included installation, lets compare recurrent subscription..DSTV is way too expensive for Home users, Remember Safaricom has 5,000 Unlimited WiMax package , JTL has a 6,000 Fiber package then add 999 for Netflix..Thats around Ave. 6.5K vs 9400 for DSTV, and dont forget this unlimited Internet is Wifi enabled , you can share with 2 or 3 neighbours, the Netflix allows 4 Screens for single account meaning 4 neighbours can come together and each would pay 1400

    • NairobiWP

      Thanks for your comment. The installation is listed as separate line item (it is a one time fee) and is not include in the recurrent subscription (see TOTAL). The reason for include the installation cost is to give the reader pertinent information.As far as sharing WiFi with your neighbors, that is up to each persons preference. 🙂

  • Njenga

    Hello people. For any assistance with Zuku connections, you may contact me at any time on 0726870299

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