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‘New’ Showmax to anchor MultiChoice’s $1bn revenue target

Admire Moyo
By Admire Moyo, ITWeb's news editor.
Johannesburg, 16 Nov 2023
Showmax is set to relaunch in February next year.
Showmax is set to relaunch in February next year.

MultiChoice believes the imminent relaunch of its Showmax streaming service will propel the business to make revenue of $1 billion in the next five years.

So said group CEO Calvo Mawela yesterday in an interview with ITWeb, following the release of the company’s interim results for the six months ended 30 September.

Mawela is of the view that Showmax 2.0 will help the company arrest the subscriber decline being experienced by core product DStv.

In its results yesterday, MultiChoice revealed DStv saw a 5% decline in subscriber numbers in its South African market. The group reported a 5% decline in 90-day active customers to 8.6 million, with active customers amounting to 7.8 million.

Faced with a dwindling subscriber base, Mawela’s trump card is the relaunch of Showmax, and he says the English Premier League (EPL) will be the video streaming platform’s biggest drawcard.

The EPL is the most-watched sports league in the world, broadcast in 212 territories to 643 million homes, with a potential TV audience of 4.7 billion people.

MultiChoice yesterday teased that Showmax 2.0 will go live in February next year.

In March, MultiChoice partnered with Comcast’s NBCUniversal and Sky to launch a streaming service targeting the African continent.

With this partnership, Showmax is looking to take US-based streaming service Netflix head-on.

Under the deal, the new Showmax Group will be 70% owned by MultiChoice and 30% by NBCUniversal. In Nigeria, NBCUniversal will hold an indirect 23.7% stake in the local subsidiary.

Powered by streaming service Peacock’s technology, “Showmax subscribers will have access to an extensive premium content portfolio, bringing African audiences the best of local and international programming,” says MultiChoice.

“We’ve got a product called ‘EPL in your Pocket’ where one can watch all the 380 games. That’s why we are very clear – our ambition is to generate $1 billion in revenue in the next five years. Through this, we believe very strongly that we will double our subscriber base in a period of time,” Mawela said.

“Because ‘EPL in your Pocket’ is mobile-only, we think new customers will come through.”

Meanwhile, MultiChoice yesterday said the new Showmax will have “a brand-new look, new app and entirely new product suite”.

The relaunched product will have three plans: Showmax Entertainment, Showmax Entertainment Mobile and Showmax Premier League.

“Powered by SuperSport and made for mobile users, Showmax Premier League is the first standalone Premier League mobile streaming service ever to launch in Africa and will take every single match of the world’s most popular football league to every corner of Sub-Saharan Africa,” the company says.

“We can’t wait to share the new Showmax,” says Showmax CEO Marc Jury. “We have an incredibly powerful new technology platform, a bold brand that truly represents our driving spirit, and a content slate that is unmatched. No other streaming service in Africa can offer what Showmax is bringing to the table in the new year.”