By Bolu Aina
Both StarTimes and GOtv are the leading affordable pay-tv options. While GOtv is an abridge (shorter version) of what DStv offers, StarTimes could best be described as a hybrid, a mid-point of combined rich content on DStv and affordable GOtv. So StarTimes is a blend of affordable and rich entertaining digital TV platform.
DStv premium bouquet has 175 channels at N18,400 monthly, GOtv’s topmost bouquet, called GOtv Max, has 90 channels at N3600. StarTimes’ classic bouquet (DTT/antenna) has 99 channels at N2500 and its Super bouquet (DTH/satellite dish) has about 120 channels at N4200.
Though criticized for its grossly limited channels and its programmes falling short of what DStv and GOtv offers, StarTimes has recently gone through brand refresh, rejigging its content offerings and now offers a richer mix of quality content at a more affordable price than DStv/GOtv.
For the sake of the major two platforms fighting for market leader in the affordability segment, let’s compare StarTimes and GOtv and find-out which offers better value-for-money.
Here are six aspects to consider:
|Bouquet||Price (N)||Total Channels||Bouquet||Price (N)||Total Channels|
StarTimes and GOtv have a rich blend of local and foreign movie channels. For local movies and series, GOtv has 5 Africa Magic channels – Family, Epic, Igbo, Yoruba and Hausa; and two ROK channels (ROK 2 & 3). In total, that’s seven channels dedicated to local movies and series. To enjoy all these channels, you need to be on GOtv Jolli at N2460 monthly. However, most of the movies and series content on Africa Magic are delayed and relayed several months later on GOtv after subscribers on DStv’s higher bouquets have seen them. BBNaija is exclusive to MultiChoice.
As per StarTimes, local movies and series channels include: PBO TV, Nollywood Plus, AMC Movies, Area Ten; four Yoruba channels – ST Yoruba, Nigbati, Kaftan Yoruba and Orisun TV; Isimbido (Igbo); and Hausa channels – Dadinkowa and Farin Wata. Another Hausa channel, Arewa 24, is on StarTimes and GOtv. The catch for StarTimes is its recently rolled out a premium Nollywood channel ‘PBO TV’, an entertainment channel dedicated to top-rated Nollywood movies, series, sitcoms and late-night comedy shows. Attractively placed on Basic Bouquet at N1700 monthly and on Smart bouquet at N2200 monthly, the channel promises to offer explosive experience like the one offered on Africa Magic showcase. True to its promise, most of its movies and series since inception are top-class Nollywood movies. But only time will tell if it can sustain the momentum.
As regards foreign movies, GOtv Jolli subscribers (N2460 monthly) have access to Hollywood movie channel, TNT Africa. StarTimes recently launched TNT Africa, also attractively placing it on Basic Bouquet at N1700 monthly and on Smart bouquet at N2200 monthly.
|HOLLYWOOD||TNT AFRICA||TNT AFRICA|
|ST MOVIES PLUS||M-Net Movies 4|
|STAR LIFE||ZEE WORLD|
|STAR GOLD||STAR LIFE|
|ST BOLLYWOOD PLUS|
|ST NOVELA PLUS||EVA+|
|ST SINO DRAMA|
3. GOtv Vs StarTimes: Sports
For Football, GOtv Max (N3600 monthly) shows one live EPL match every Saturday and one Champions League match a week, though not key matches. GOtv Max also airs all La Liga matches and Serie A matches, and some Emirates FA Cup matches as well as live sports on ESPN 1. No ESPN 1 and La Liga on lesser bouquets. If you want to watch all Emirates FA Cup matches, you need be on DStv Compact Plus at N12,400 monthly.
StarTimes’ Classic Bouquet (N2500 monthly) airs all Europa League matches, all Emirates FA Cup, all La Liga (French commentary), Bundesliga, Copa Del Rey, Coppa Italia, and ESPN 1 and 2 channels. StarTimes also spreads many matches to its lower bouquets (NOVA and Basic). Also, one EPL match is shown every week on NTA Sports 24 on StarTimes 900naira NOVA Bouquet. StarTimes Basic Bouquet (N1700) has ESPN 1 channel and a combat sports channel, Sports Arena. Live combat sports include boxing, kick boxing, Mix Martial Art, etc. Recently, StarTimes acquired the exclusive broadcast rights for Bob Arum’s Top Rank events in 2020. This will see the broadcaster air live boxing events including many world titles bouts on the roster. Top Rank’s current stable of champions represents the best the sport has to offer: Vasiliy Lomachenko, Terence Crawford, Oscar Valdez, Gilberto Ramirez, Jose Ramirez and Tyson Fury.
|EPL||1 weekly||N900/month||1 weekly||N3600/month|
|Europa League||All||From N900/month||Nil|
|Emirates FA Cup||All||N2500||Few||N3600|
|Copa Del Rey||All||N2500||Nil|
StarTimes has eight kiddies’ channels which are Jim Jam, Toonami, ST Kids, Nickelodeon, CBEEBIES, infant channel (BabyTV), Nigerian fables (Pineapple TV), and recently launched top Hollywood animation channel, DreamWorks.
GOtv has seven channels: Jim Jam, Disney Junior, Nickelodeon, Da Vinci Kids, PBS Kids, and Cartoon Networks.
If your kids have a certain affinity for Jim Jam, then StarTimes offers it cheaper on at NOVA bouquet at N900 monthly.
5. International News
With local news, both networks are on equal footing with Channels TV, AIT, NTA and TVC on their list (although Startimes holds the advantage of NTA channels in Igbo, Hausa, and Yoruba). Internationally, GOtv boasts of CNN, Aljazeera, and BBC. StarTimes has BBC, Fox News, Aljazeera, CNC and CGTN.
6. GOtv Vs StarTimes: Affordability
From the above analysis, StarTimes seems more available. StarTimes has more channels and interesting content offering than GOtv. Most of all channels and content you watch on GOtv are on StarTimes and cheaper on StarTimes. Analysis above shows that. Thus, our verdict is that StarTimes is the meeting point between DStv and GOtv. For instance, Few Emirates FA Cup matches are aired on GOtv Max (N3600 monthly). If you want to watch all Emirates FA Cup matches, you need to be on DStv Compact Plus at N12,400 monthly. Also, GOtv Max has ESPN 1, no ESPN 2. Meanwhile, on StarTimes classic bouquet (N2500 monthly), you will watch all Emirates FA Cup matches and also enjoy live sports like NBA on ESPN 1 and 2. ESPN 1 is on StarTimes N1700 basic bouquet.
When it comes to the manner of payment, StarTimes is the clear winner as it allows for daily, weekly and monthly subscriptions while GOtv only allows monthly subscription. For just 90 naira a day, you can have access to 42 channels under Startimes Nova plan. Basic Bouquet is N160 daily while Classic is N320 daily.
7. StarTimes VS GOtv: MOBILE APP
StarTimes is the best when it comes to mobile app features. In fact, the Startimes ON app can be used to watch your favorite TV programs on the go with your phone. But GOtv is yet to develop an app to help customers stream live, except for DStv subscribers who can DStv NOW. The extra benefit with StarTimes is that its streaming app (StarTimes ON) can act as standalone. If you are not a StarTimes subscriber, you can download the app and watch all live matches showing on StarTimes as low as N400 weekly.