MultiChoice bets on online sport betting

Admire Moyo
By Admire Moyo, ITWeb's news editor.
Johannesburg, 05 Jan 2024
MultiChoice Group CEO Calvo Mawela.
MultiChoice Group CEO Calvo Mawela.

MultiChoice has partnered with KingMakers, a sports betting and digital entertainment company, to launch SuperSportBet, a betting platform.

In a statement, the video entertainment firm says the sport and casino betting platform, developed with SuperSport, is aimed at sports fans, the betting fraternity, and sports lifestyle enthusiasts.

The deal comes after MultiChoice acquired a 20% stake in Nigerian online sports betting company BetKing, now known as KingMakers, for R1.3 billion in 2020.

In 2021, the video entertainment firm increased its stake to 49% for $281.5 million, bringing the total value of its KingMakers shareholding to R5.9 billion.

Says Calvo Mawela, MultiChoice Group CEO: “We are thrilled to have joined forces with KingMakers to launch this innovative platform. SuperSportBet reflects our commitment to evolve into a platform-based business driven by innovation, delivering unparalleled entertainment experiences. We believe SuperSportBet is the ideal platform for fans to augment their sporting experiences.”

With the platform incorporating innovative technology, Mawela continues: “SuperSportBet is more than just a platform; it’s designed to offer entertaining, engaging, and responsible betting experiences. We want our users to engage smartly and responsibly.”

The new venture comes as MultiChoice is looking to broaden its revenue base as it faces pressure from global players such as Netflix.

In its financial results for the six months ended 30 September, the company posted group revenue of R28.3 billion, down 1% due to weaker local currencies and consumer pressure.

The group reported a 5% decline in 90-day active customers to 8.6 million, with active customers amounting to 7.8 million.

MultiChoice has steadily been losing Premium subscribers over the years, as it contends with growing competition from global streaming services, such as Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video.

In the results, MultiChoice said KingMakers continued to deliver strong underlying operating momentum despite the impact of the weaker naira and challenging macro environment in Nigeria.

According to the firm, the business delivered organic revenue growth of 22%, led by strong growth in its online sportsbook which saw active users increase 17% and its revenue contribution grow by 40% year-on-year.

It explained that the weaker naira resulted in reported revenues increasing only 2% to $95 million (R1.8 billion).

KingMakers reported $10 million in EBITDA and narrowed its loss after tax to $8.6 million (R0.2 billion) for the first six months to June 2023.