Showmax to migrate viewers to Peacock’s tech

Simnikiwe Mzekandaba
By Simnikiwe Mzekandaba, IT in government editor
Johannesburg, 15 Jan 2024
New Showmax is set to go live 12 February.
New Showmax is set to go live 12 February.

Showmax will begin migrating existing customers to streaming service Peacock’s platform from 23 January to 12 February.

This was announced at the media briefing earlier today, as the MultiChoice-owned video streaming platform kicks off a new era.

Showmax 2.0, or the new Showmax, will relaunch on 12 February.

Part of the Showmax relaunch is a new technical platform from streaming service Peacock, which will be active in more than 70 countries, according to Showmax.

The Peacock platform is said to support both live and on-demand content, including the live sporting events, with that capability and reliability to be extended to the new Showmax.

Speaking about the platform that Showmax will be migrating customers across to, CEO Marc Jury said it will provide stability and improved customer experience.

“When we talk about a completely new platform, what that means is that we’ll have to migrate our existing customers across onto the new Peacock platform, which will be branded as Showmax and effectively the foundation for Showmax 2.0.

“That migration process will start on the 23rd January and run all the way through until the 12th February.”

The new Showmax will feature a new app, new look, new content portfolio as well as its biggest drawcard – the first standalone mobile plan for the English Premier League.

The Premier League 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.

Targeting die-hard football fans, the Showmax Premier League standalone mobile offering will feature all 380 games live on Showmax for R69 a month.

In addition, there are two more Showmax plans available to customers in 44 African countries: Showmax Entertainment on mobile for R39 a month at launch, as well as the multi-device general Showmax Entertainment plan, where the monthly price falls from R99 to R89 per month.

The mobile bundled offering of Showmax Premier League and general Showmax Entertainment will be made available to customers at a price point of R99 a month.

According to Jury, the Showmax team is committed to connecting customers throughout Sub-Saharan Africa to the content they are passionate about at an affordable price point.

“There are currently just over 450 million smartphones in the hands of individuals across Africa…and more than 250 million avid football lovers on the continent,” said the CEO.

“Showmax Premier League is a game-changing product that gives individuals a ticket to the football they love, wherever they are, on the device they always have with them, at a price that’s impossible not to love.

“Africa is incredibly important to the Premier League and our clubs; 20% of TV audiences on any given matchday come from Africa,” added Richard Masters, Premier League CEO. “We are delighted with this Showmax initiative, which puts the Premier League in your pocket at a new price point so that millions more can enjoy our fantastic competition."

Marc Jury, CEO of Showmax.
Marc Jury, CEO of Showmax.

Showmax is jointly owned by JSE-listed MultiChoice Group and Comcast’s NBCUniversal and Sky following their partnership last year, which aimed to launch a streaming service targeting the African continent. Under the deal, the new Showmax Group is 70% owned by MultiChoice and 30% by NBCUniversal.

Multichoice products provide entertainment to 22 million households across the African continent. Global media and tech company Comcast’s brands include Peacock, Universal Pictures, NBC, DreamWorks Animation and Telemundo.

Appearing via video, MultiChoice Group CEO Calvo Mawela described the relaunch as a new era for Showmax, saying it will claim its position as Africa’s number one streaming service.

“We started Showmax in 2015 all with the aim of bringing customers the best content with the best user experience. Africa still presents a huge opportunity for us, the African continent is reaching a critical inflection point in terms of connectivity and the opportunity for streaming content is immense.

“The launch of the new Showmax comes at a time when consumers are ready to embrace our powerful offering, utilising state-of-the-art technology. Our team…has crafted a streaming service that’s as unique as the African continent. ”

On the content side, Showmax says African viewers will be able to watch an average of more than 3.5 hours of fresh local content on the streaming service every day of the year.

The streaming platform plans to introduce no fewer than 21 new Showmax Originals upon its relaunch in February alone.

Complementing the African content slate is an international offering that includes films like the latest instalment in the fast franchise, Fast X, and Wes Anderson’s comedy-drama Asteroid City; procedural drama series such as NBC’s The Irrational starring Jesse L Martin; and Peacock original comedy series Killing It.

Showmax will also continue to draw from the likes of Paramount, including Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning and Halo S2 in February, and HBO, with new seasons of House of the Dragon, The Last of Us, True Detective, and The White Lotus on the way.

The new Showmax app will become available in app stores from 23 January, as part of a staggered migration process across 44 markets. “This is an ongoing process that starts next week and will be completed in February this year.

“Existing Showmax customers will begin receiving communication with information on how to access the new app this week and by 12 February 2024 the new Showmax will be live in all markets,” the company says.