MultiChoice, NBCU in Showmax relaunch
South African pay TV group MultiChoice has partnered with Comcast’s NBCUniversal and Sky to relaunch its streaming service Showmax in sub-Saharan Africa.
The new Showmax group will be 70% owned by MultiChoice and 30% by NBCUniversal following the partnership, through which the two companies will aim to make Showmax the leading streaming service in Africa. In Nigeria, NBCUniversal will hold an indirect 23.7% stake in the local subsidiary.
MultiChoice, which has a footprint across 50 markets in sub-Saharan Africa, will gain access to the same technology that powers NBCUniversal’s streamer Peacock, with NBCUniversal and Sky providing “ongoing support through the licensing of both technology and content.”
The streamer will feature local content and originals from MultiChoice and its channels including Mzansi Magic, Africa Magic and Maisha Magic, alongside international content licensed from NBCUniversal and Sky, plus third-party content from HBO, Warner Bros International, Sony and others, as well as live English Premier League football.
MultiChoice said the new streamer comes as Africa is approaching an inflection point in terms of broadband connectivity and affordability. Further details about the new Showmax service, including launch date, content and pricing, will be announced at a later date.
Calvo Mawela, CEO of MultiChoice, said: “We launched Showmax as the first African streaming service in 2015 and are extremely proud of its success to date. This agreement represents a great opportunity for our Showmax team to scale even greater heights by working with a leading global player in Comcast and its subsidiaries.
“The new business venture deepens an already strong relationship and builds on the Sky Glass technology partnership that we announced in September last year. We believe we are extremely well positioned to create a winning platform going forward.”
Dana Strong, group CEO at Sky, added: “This new collaboration in streaming and content with MultiChoice, NBCUniversal and Sky takes our partnership to the next level in one of the world’s most vibrant, fastest-growing markets. Last year, we announced MultiChoice as a customer of the Sky Glass platform and now we are excited to help innovate its Showmax streaming service.”
Matt Strauss, chairman of direct-to-consumer and international at NBCUniversal, said: “This partnership is an incredible opportunity to further scale the global presence of Peacock’s world-class streaming technology, as well as to introduce millions of new customers to extensive premium content from NBCUniversal and Sky’s stellar entertainment brands.”