Shapiro was responding toe calls from MultiChoice to impose stricter regulations on Netflix in South Africa. Speaking on Business Day TV, Shapiro said Netflix is “simply progress”, and that after you have used Netflix, there is “no way that you are ever going to go back to DStv”.
Business Day TV’s The Week That Was host Giulietta Talevi added that MultiChoice had a 30-year monopoly in South Africa, and that companies need to “innovate or die”.
These comments follow calls from MultiChoice SA CEO Calvo Mawela for stricter regulations on video-streaming services like Netflix.
MultiChoice has been losing DStv Premium subscribers in recent years, and this loss has been attributed to increased competition from Netflix.
According to Mawela, Netflix has an unfair advantage in the market as it does not have the same regulatory obligations that DStv does.
He highlighted that streaming services such as Netflix do not contribute to the Universal Service and Access Fund, and do not pay annual licence.
Mawela said Netflix must also be taxed – as is the case for DStv in South Africa – to ensure a level playing field.
The Week That Was co-host Simon Brown said the reaction from MultiChoice to competition from Netflix is not surprising.
“When you are dying you are going to do what you can to stop it, which includes frantic pleas for regulation,” said Brown.