Back in late 2020, the High Court of Kenya had compelled telco Safaricom to pull down more than 140 streaming sites that had been identified to broadcast material owned by MultiChoice, the South African company that also manages Supersport.
Supersport is one of the most used platforms for sports streaming. It is packaged in MultiChoice’s DStv. The company also avails the product in Showmax Pro. The premium subscription, however, is only available on DStv.
Safaricom and Jamii Telecom had been ordered to blacklist the identified sites.
The two telcos are key parties of interest because they sell broadband connections to hundreds of thousands of households.
MultiChoice had sought the help of the courts following an argument that it was losing substantial revenue to illegal streamers. Also, MultiChoice said that it owned content on illegal streaming websites, effectively making a case for copyright infringement.
According to a report published by Nation, Safaricom went to the Court of Appeal for a new hearing. Safaricom argued that the push by MultiChoice to blacklist the said websites would set a dangerous precedent, including it being sued by other media companies. Safaricom also says that the move would make it susceptible to customer backlash.
The issue of illegal streams has been an infamous activity in Kenya. Many people choose to catch up on their favourite matches on such sites because it is the cheaper way out, considering they have already paid for a fibre connection and wouldn’t want to splash more money on another subscription.
Others have also argued that MultiChoice’s DStv pricing is not competitive. Its premium subscription is one of the highest around, especially when compared to video-on-demand apps.
MultiChoice has since bundled games and news streaming on Showmax Pro to appeal to more customers.