With MultiChoice’s ownership of both Showmax and the largest sporting package in the world in the form of DStv’s Supersport, there was always a view that the two would eventually cross paths and we would see live sport make its way to the streaming platform (even though Supersport is already available for streaming via DStv Now if you’re prepared to pay for it). We have even seen Showmax play with the idea of live streaming with them hosting several sporting events in the past online.
But it appears that Showmax is looking to embrace the idea of live streaming and sports a little more seriously, with the rollout of a Showmax Pro service. This new offering will only be made available to Nigeria and Kenya for now, but Showmax Pro will see Showmax’s regularly streaming content bundled with some existing live channels for news, music, and some SuperSport channels, mostly revolving around soccer, athletics and golfing. The kind of sports that would get a large number of viewers in those countries.
It may be coming to Nigeria and Kenya first, but Multichoice revealed that it’s planning to roll out the service across sub-Sharan Africa in the next 6-8 weeks, though it’s yet to give out any plans for South Africa. The company also hasn’t gone into detail on what pricing will look like in each of those countries.
Recently, as a means of getting around the lack of high-speed broadband in many African countries, MultiChoice launched a mobile-only service that used lower resolution streaming to lower data costs at a reduced price. This offering has proven quite popular, and will be one of the flavours of Showmax Pro will on offer. The details of what will be available through the various Showmax packages is shown below:
Niclas Ekdahl, chief executive officer of the Connected Video division of MultiChoice, stated that “Showmax is an African video on demand service with many years’ experience operating on this continent.”
We’re local-first, which means listening to our customers and delivering African stories told in familiar voices as well as the best that Hollywood has to offer. Our local-first strategy is an advantage because it allows us to tailor our content, apps, packages, and partnerships specifically to what’s most important in Africa.
Considering South Africa’s sporting interests predominantly lean toward rugby, cricket, golf, tennis, and motorsports, which all draw a large following, if Showmax does try and bring sports into its central package it will likely not be cheap. MultiChoice will also ensure it doesn’t take away from the lucrative amount of money they are able to extract from people who have DSTV subscriptions.
It’s perhaps more likely we could see a tiered approach with similar channels offered in the rest of Africa here, with the wider sports coverage kept to the DStv platform. Though hopefully MultiChoice does see the light of day and realise that if they priced their sports packages cheaper, they may actually get far more subscribers and therefore sell advertising for more. It’s basic economics that they have so far struggled to grasp.
Last Updated: July 7, 2020