Tag Archives: Showmax

Showmax meets Real Housewives of Lagos

The Real Housewives of Durban

African SVoD service Showmax has commissioned the first Nigerian version of NBCUniversal’s format The Real Housewives.

Produced by Livespot 360, The Real Housewives of Lagos gives an insight into the opulent and glamourous lives of some of the most affluent women in Lagos. It is set to debut early 2022 as a Showmax Original.

The Real Housewives of Lagos will be the second Showmax Original reality series from Nigeria, following I Am Laycon, starring Big Brother Naija S5 winner Lekan Agbeleshe, which launched in February 2021.

The Nigerian version is the third African instalment of the Real Housewives franchise, following The Real Housewives of Johannesburg and The Real Housewives of Durban.

Showmax has also commissioned a second season of The Real Housewives of Durban, produced by Let It Rain Films, with Thumeka Hlotshana attached to direct and Lee Doig (Survivor USA) creative directing.

The Real Housewives format is shopped internationally by NBCUniversal Formats, a division of Universal Studio Group, and the Nigerian version is the format’s 16th international adaptation.

“We’ve seen audiences across Africa devour The Real Housewives of Johannesburg and The Real Housewives of Durban,” said Candice Fangueiro, head of content at the MultiChoice-owned streamer Showmax.

“The Real Housewives franchise lends itself to localisation and we know our audience is going to love seeing the show reinvented Naija-style. We can’t wait to show the continent – and the world – another side of Lagos, with all the drama, high fashion and luxury you’d expect from The Real Housewives franchise.”

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Showmax acquires SA lockdown doc

United Apart SA – Lockdown Remembered

African streamer Showmax has acquired pandemic-focused documentary United Apart SA – Lockdown Remembered, which it will make available from September 9.

The documentary takes a deep dive into South Africa’s Covid-19 strategy and the effect it has had on society, the economy and its most vulnerable citizens.

The film asks questions such as: How much did lives change? Did the authorities go too far? Can a developing economy follow the same lockdown models as fiscally sound countries? What fault lines did Covid-19 expose? What more could have been done to effect change while fighting a devastating pandemic?

United Apart SA – Lockdown Remembered was produced by award-winning Ochre Moving Pictures of Johannesburg, directed by Anton Burggraaf and funded by newspaper publisher Arena Holdings.

It features South African Medical Research Council president and CEO Glenda Gray; clinical infectious diseases epidemiologist Professor Salim Abdool Karim; South African Reserve Bank deputy governor Rashad Cassid; Business Day editor Lukanyo Mnyanda; Sowetan editor Nwabisa Makunga; and Sunday Times editor S’thembiso Msomi, among others.

Debbie McCrum, Arena Holdings MD, said: “We are delighted to have sold United Apart to Showmax. It’s an informative, moving and entertaining investigation of what we went through as a nation during an extremely challenging year. With its focus on local content, Showmax is making the documentary available to South Africans in the comfort of their own home.”

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Showmax originals include first novela

Blood Psalms is a coproduction with France’s Canal+

African streamer Showmax is making its first telenovela, romantic comedy series and scripted West African original as part of a new slate of eight shows and films.

Showmax’s first telenovela, The Wife, is based on Dudu Busani-Dube’s bestselling novels Hlomu the Wife, Zandile the Resolute and Naledi His Love, all of which tell the story of a Zulu crime family through the eyes of the criminals’ wives.

Each book will be adapted into 40 episodes of the 120-episode season, with South African prodco Stained Glass producing.

Romcom series Troukoors follows Jessica, a wedding planner who’s surrounded by love but struggling to find it for herself. The show has been created by Louis Pretorius and Albert Snyman, the creators of Die Boekklub, Fynskrif and Die Boland Moorde.

Ghana Jollof is Showmax’s first West African comedy. It features two Nigerians who move to Ghana and clash with their new environment. The series will be filmed across Lagos and Accra, with comedian Basketmouth exec producing.

As well as these shows, Showmax is also making its first epic fantasy series. A coproduction with French pay TV firm Canal+, Blood Psalms tells the story of the ascent to power of a teenage princess whose world is threatened by the gods. South Africa’s Yellowbone Entertainment is producing.

Also on the slate is a second season of Black Tax, a sitcom about a single mother who has just managed to make ends meet when her parents demand she take care of them, too. Tyler Perry’s BET Africa is behind the show.

Meanwhile, Showmax will host the first part of a film trilogy in 2022. Glasshouse is a post-apocalyptic movie from Kelsey Egan and Cape Town’s Local Motion Pictures in which one family does what it can to survive in a world where humans are affected by airborne dementia known as The Shred.

Elsewhere on the slate is family thriller Desert Rose, made by Quizzical Pictures. The show sees family reunion turn into a manhunt as the Greyling siblings scramble to settle their estranged father’s debt before it’s too late. Rohan Dickson, known for Showmax series Reyka, is the showrunner.

There’s also horror series Pulse, in which an international group of young game creators discover survival is not just a game when an electromagnetic pulse bomb turns their secure office high-rise into a battlefield. The series is the result of an international collaboration between global production and finance company Media Musketeers, UK-based ForLan Films and South Africa’s Red Mirror.

Finally, Afrikaans docuseries Seks sees couples and single people openly discuss their sex lives with a clinical psychologist. Sex workers, adult-shop owners, a unicorn, swingers, dominatrixes, a crossdresser, a dungeon master, people who dress up like babies, and others all feature. The six-parter is being produced by media personality Rian van Heerden through South Africa’s Provoco.

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Toke Makinwa to host BBNaija’s The Buzz

Award-winning Nigerian media personality Toke Makinwa will host Big Brother Naija talkshow spin-off The Buzz, which will be available exclusively on MultiChoice-owned streamer Showmax.

Toke Makinwa

In The Buzz, Makinwa will share her opinions on the happenings in the BBNaija house as the current season continues, as well as offering viewers the inside scoop behind the latest dramatic events in the reality show. The show will also feature a secret diary room rant session from the housemates.

Makinwa said: “I am unfiltered. This is almost like the unfiltered version of Big Brother where we bring you weekly highlights, so I’m looking forward to them messing up, I’m looking forward to them creating more drama because that way my show gets even more interesting.”

The Buzz will stream on Tuesdays and Saturdays from 19.00, debuting on August 3. Big BBNaija is based on the globe-trotting Dutch format Big Brother, which became a global sensation when it launched over 20 years ago.

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SA’s Temptation Island to debut in August

Temptation Island is hosted by Phat Joe (centre)

The South African version of Banijay format Temptation Island will premiere on August 26 on MultiChoice Group-owned SVoD service Showmax.

The format sees couples go through the ultimate relationship test as they find themselves at a crossroads where they must mutually decide if they are ready to commit to one another for the rest of their lives or go their separate ways.

The couples will live separately in a luxurious holiday destination alongsisde 20 single men and women who are looking for love.

The recently released teaser trailer from Showmax revealed four South African couples, namely Precious Khumalo and Grant Manuel, Justin Fritz and Estelle Langa, Musa Qubinkomo and Sifiso Ndlazi, and Nthabiseng Maphago and MJ Maponya.

Billed as the first international reality format that Showmax has licensed, the show is being hosted by South African TV and radio personality Phat Joe. Afrokaans Film & Television is producing.

Distributed by Banijay Rights, Temptation Island has been adapted in 25 countries so far. It originated on US network Fox back in 2001 and was later revived by USA Network in 2019.

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Auditions held for Basketmouth comedy

New Showmax original comedy series Ghana Jollof, executive produced by Nigerian comedian Basketmouth (aka Bright Okpocha), has begun auditions.

Basketmouth (aka Bright Okpocha)

Aspiring Ghanaian TV stars living in Lagos or Accra aged between 20 and 60 are expected to upload a two-minute video with a monologue of their choice on Instagram with the hashtag #GhanaJollofShowmax, including their name, phone number and location.

Basketmouth, who will also star in the show, said: “Ghanaians are our next-door neighbours and both countries have always been intertwined in both music and movies. I believe in the mutual growth of the entertainment industry for both countries.

“I’m also incredibly passionate about the discovery and promotion of new talent, and with Showmax at the forefront of promoting local African content, it is my belief that we’re set to unleash incredible new talent.”

On the choice of title, he added: “For those wondering why we went with Ghana Jollof, you’ll just have to watch the show and find out.”

The deadline for audition is July 20.

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Showmax lines up cult murder docuseries

South Africa-based SVoD service Showmax is set to debut an original true crime docuseries about a cult murder spree, titled Devilsdorp.

The series came about as a result of research into the killings that took place between 2012 and 2016 in the town of Krugersdorp, otherwise known as the Appointment Murders.

Devilsdorp, which will air from July 29, will showcase extraordinary footage of church meetings, trial testimonies, judgments and apparent ‘exorcisms.’

It will also feature first-hand accounts of stories by church members who knew the perpetrators: senior investigating officer Captain Ben Booysen, deputy director of public prosecutions Gerrit Roberts, discovery claims specialist Shane Chatzkelowitz and journalist Marizka Coetzer.

The series is directed by David Enright, produced by Randburg-based prodco IdeaCandy and narrated by Jana Marx, author of the book The Krugersdorp Cult Killings: Inside Cecilia Steyn’s Reign of Terror.

Enright said: “The result of an 18-month research process, Devilsdorp shows again that truth is stranger than fiction, especially in South Africa. This is the story of the events that rocked an entire community and forever changed the lives of those involved, especially the families of the victims.

“What started as a group of devout Christians trying to help a former satanist escape the satanic church ended in a murderous spree involving a killer mom, her two children and a cult with more victims than members. It may all sound too far-fetched to be believed, except it really happened – just down the road from us,” he added.

“We know our audience is fascinated by local true crime, pointing to the popularity of the SAFTA-winning film Griekwastad and the SAFTA-nominated series Huisgenoot: Ware Lewensdramas. There’s something deeply unsettling about watching a true-crime series where the victims and perpetrators look and sound like your neighbours, and where you can recognise the locations,” added Candice Fangueiro, Showmax’s head of content.

IdeaCandy producer Wim Steyn added: “You may think you know this story but you don’t. This is one of those stories where things are seldom as they seem, and where the road to hell is paved with good intentions.”

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Showmax employs Working Wives

Working Wives centres on a group of Harare women

MultiChoice Group-owned South African SVoD service Showmax has picked up Zimbabwean scripted series Working Wives, produced last year by Ndiani Studios.

Working Wives is a 13-episode dramedy inspired by the Real Housewives franchise that follows the lives of a group of Harare women from a Millennial perspective. It also explores the challenges faced by a modern African woman tied to tradition in an urban world.

The series was adapted from a blog created by Sharon Bwanya and was produced by Tendayi Nyeke. It stars Tendaiishe Chitima, Dikelo Mamiala, Tendai Nguni, Nyasha Grace Munangatire, Maritawana Dhliwayo, Chipo Mugovewedenga Chikara and Megan Victor-Carelse.

“The series is an exciting pan-African collaboration shot between Zimbabwe and South Africa, starring a crew and talent from both countries in a time that sees borders fall as far as storytelling and viewing experience is concerned. Brace yourselves for a comedy drama because as crazy as life gets, it’s easier to swallow the hard pill with a good laugh,” said Nyeke.

Ndiani Studios launched Working Wives independently in 2020, with episodes available over the web via sites including Vimeo, and is available to air to international audiences with Showmax access. The series is distributed by Cote Ouest Audiovisuel.

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Showmax visits Temptation Island

Temptation Island SA is being produced by Afrokaans Film & Television

MultiChoice Group-owned South African SVoD service Showmax has commissioned a local version of Banijay dating format Temptation Island.

The 12-part first season will be Showmax’s first adaptation of an international format and is being produced by local outfit Afrokaans Film & Television.

Afrokaans also produces the South African version of Banijay’s adventure reality format Survivor, which is due to air its eighth season this summer.

Twenty-five local adaptations of Temptation Island have aired to date, in countries including Spain, Italy, the Netherlands and the US, where the third season will premiere on USA Network this week.

The format sees four new couples heading to a luxury resort where they are joined by 24 single men and women looking to find everlasting love. The couples must decide whether to commit to each other or if they will ultimately give in to the temptation from the singles.

Banijay Rights handles international distribution for both the format and finished tape of the show.

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Showmax, MTN Nigeria in mobile data deal

MultiChoice-owned VoD service Showmax and the Nigerian arm of South African telco MTN have partnered to launch a data deal for mobile users.

Srinivas Rao

The offer will give subscribers access to Showmax’s full catalogue on a data-enabled mobile device. Content available includes Nigerian series and movies from Africa Magic such as telenovelas Riona and Enakhe and new seasons of Date My Family, Unmarried and My Siblings & I.

Also included in the offer are all Premier League, Serie A and La Liga football matches, plus a wide range of live sport from SuperSport including boxing and athletics.

Srinivas Rao, chief digital officer at MTN Nigeria, said: “Keeping up with our digitally savvy, always-on-the-go customers is an exciting challenge that is made easier with partners like Showmax. This alliance could not have come at a better time.”

Yolisa Phahle, CEO for general entertainment and connected video at MultiChoice Group, added: “Mobile streaming is an important consideration throughout Africa, which is why Showmax offers mobile-only versions of Showmax subscriptions. We’re proud to have an extensive collection of the continent’s most-loved original African content to share with MTN’s customers and to introduce them to the world of streaming on Showmax.”

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Showmax adds pop-up channels

MultiChoice-owned VoD service Showmax has added two pop-up channels that will be available until the end of March.

Yolisa Phahle

The addition of kykNET and Mzansi Magic will give Showmax users who don’t have access to the two DStv channels the ability to view them 24 hours a day.

MultiChoice Group CEO for general entertainment and connected video Yolisa Phahle said: “We’re always looking at ways of making the Showmax experience better for our customers.

“During last year’s lockdown, we gave subscribers access to live news channels. Now, following this month’s presidential address, South Africans will continue to spend more time at home, and so, once again, we’d like to make sure our customers have something extra.”

While Mzansi Magic is exclusive to South Africa, kykNET will be available to subscribers in Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. The live streams will be available on all Showmax packages including Showmax, Showmax Mobile, Showmax Pro and Showmax Pro Mobile.

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Showmax, Canal+ coproduce crime drama

Alfred Munyua and Sarah Hassan

MultiChoice VoD service Showmax and France-based pay TV operator Canal+ have begun production on a gritty police procedural and legal show titled Crime & Justice.

The show is being directed and produced by Adam Neutzsky-Wulff (All The Little Things We Kill) and is set in Nairobi. It follows criminal cases through to the courtroom verdict and stars Sarah Hassan (How to Find a Husband) and Alfred Munyua (The First Grader, Sense8) playing detectives.

The show marks Showmax’s first original Kenyan series.

Munyua said the delivery and realness of his character attracted him to the show. “It’s not exaggerated and he’s no Rambo hero, he just tackles his cases the normal way. I found a very real edge with this script,” he added.

Hassan will play a detective for the first time and said: “This is a very different character; I’ve never played anything like it before. It’s very exciting to get a character that makes me grow as an actor.”

Other stars include Maqbul Mohammed, Paul Ogola and Brian Ogola. Muhugu Theuri, Brian Abajah, Martin Githinji and Justin Mirichii will guest star.

The production team consists of Neutzsky-Wulff and a Kenyan crew, including coproducer Maureen Wanjiku (Subira, East Africa’s Got Talent) as well as stage and screen icon John Sibi-Okumu.

Yolisa Phahle, CEO of general entertainment and connected video at MultiChoice, said: “We believe in African talent and look forward to shining the international spotlight on not only Kenyan stars but the Kenyan technical industry’s capabilities. We believe that streaming video is a powerful way to deliver these shared stories. This is one of many more Showmax originals we have in the pipeline across Africa.

“We are fundamentally an African business and are invested in telling African stories that reflect the lives, languages and cultures of the continent.”

Canal+ will distribute Crime & Justice to its French-speaking territories and is also committed to entertainment in Africa.

Fabrice Faux, chief content officer of Canal+ International, said: “As part of our strategy of providing our subscribers with the best original content from the continent, we are proud to partner with Showmax.”

Crime & Justice is set to come to Showmax and Canal+ in 2021 and is MultiChoice’s second copro with the French company after Blood Psalms, due to air this year.

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Showmax lines up Laycon series

MultiChoice VoD service Showmax is set to launch an original series about Big Brother Naija star Laycon in February.

Laycon

I Am Laycon will feature Big Brother Naija S5 winner Lekan Agbeleshe (aka Laycon) as he takes viewers on his journey to fame.

It will follow Laycon after the reality show as he settles into life as a star with his own reality TV show, while juggling his personal relationships and growing a music career in one of Africa’s biggest cities, Lagos.

Yolisa Phahle, CEO of general entertainment at MultiChoice, said: “Showmax is committed to supporting homegrown talent in Nigeria. Laycon is a hugely inspirational figure and the perfect choice to kickstart our original content here.

“Fans across Africa tuned in to see what it took to win Big Brother Naija, so we’re excited to take those fans along with Laycon on this journey as he adjusts to fame and life outside the house.”

Laycon added: “I am excited to continue my new life journey and embrace the new responsibilities of evolving not just myself but everyone around me. I want you to come along for the ride as you get to see the growth that you have supported and loved.”

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Showmax lines up SA thriller Dam

Dam

South African psychological thriller Dam is set to premiere on MultiChoice-owned African SVoD service Showmax in February 2021.

The show is written and directed by four-time SAFTA winner Alex Yazbek, produced by SAFTA-winning production company Picture Tree International and with three-time SAFTA winner Tom Marais as director of photography.

Shot in the Eastern Cape, the eight-part series follows a family and a town with dark secrets, and about how what you push down will eventually rise up.

It stars Silwerskerm Film Festival best actress winner Lea Vivier as a woman who returns from Chile to the Eastern Cape to bury her father, only to be tormented by spirits in the farm house she has inherited.

Other actors include SAFTA winner Pallance Dladla (Themba), Natasha Loring (Sienna), SAFTA winner Antoinette Louw (Dora), Fleur du Cap winner Faniswa Yisa (Lindiwe), aKing frontman Laudo Liebenberg, Gerald Steyn, SAFTA and DSTV Mzansi Viewers’ Choice Award winner Thembisa Mdoda-Nxumalo, Neil Sandilands and a host of others.

Candice Fanguiero, Showmax’s head of content, said: “It’s safe to say you’ve never seen anything like Dam on South African TV.”

Other upcoming Showmax originals expected in 2021 include the reality series Lebo M: Coming Home, which is due to air on December 2, as well as Jahmil XT Qubeka’s ancient Africa series Blood Psalms, a coproduction with Canal+ International.

Also on the slate for next year are the second season of the SAFTA-winning comedy Tali’s Wedding Diary; the Cape Flats neo-noir murder mystery Skemerdans; and Uthando Lodumo, a reality series about controversial celebrity couple Babes Wodumo and Mampintsha.

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Showmax signs deal with SAFA

African SVoD service Showmax has signed a five-year agreement with the South African Football Association (SAFA) to support more than 40,000 referees officiating in both the male and female divisions of the sport.

Calvo Mawela

Effective this week until 2025, the new relationship will assist SAFA with its referee programme, which is focused on improving the quality of football officiating and feeding the talent pipeline in a fully inclusive manner.

Match officials will be trained and educated to ensure referees are kept abreast of the latest innovations and techniques available to best enforce the rules of the game.

The agreement includes a redesigned and rebranded referee’s kit and other branding elements through which the Showmax brand will be showcased at all SAFA levels including DStv Premiership, national team matches, National First Division, ABC Motsepe League, SASOL Women’s League, regional leagues and all football tournaments and matches played under the auspices of SAFA.

Calvo Mawela, CEO of Showmax parent MultiChoice Group, said: “We are pleased to be involved in what we believe is a monumental win for South African football that will truly elevate match officiating across all levels, from grassroots to the DStv Premiership and beyond, ultimately enabling the best local talent to participate on a global stage.”

SAFA president Danny Jordaan added: “The partnership between MultiChoice and SAFA is critical as it allows us to fulfil our development mandate, as well as improving the quality of football officiating at both domestic and international level. This partnership will continue to make a contribution to deliver world-class officials on an inclusive basis. It will further accelerate the delivery of both male and female match officials for CAF and Fifa competitions.”

Showmax is the exclusive global SAFA referee sponsor and the referees will now be known as the Showmax SAFA Referees.

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African SVoD subs to quadruple

African SVoD subscriptions are on the rise for services such as Showmax, Netflix and iRoko, according to recently released data.

According to UK-based Digital TV Research, Africa will have 12.96 million SVoD subscriptions by 2025, up from 2.75 million at the end of 2019. South Africa will account for three million by that year, to take its total to 4.3 million, while Nigeria will add 2.1 million to make a total of 2.73 million.

Netflix accounted for 45% of the region’s SVoD subscribers by the end of 2019 and the US company will retain its share by 2025, which was forecast to be 5.7 million subscribers, up from 1.23 million in 2019.

“Local player Showmax will add more than a million paying subscribers, partly due to the launch of its Pro platform and its lower prices for mobile subscribers. It will reach many more homes as a free extension for its pay TV subscribers,” added Simon Murray, principal analyst at Digital TV Research.

Global streaming giant Netflix, which has commissioned more locally produced content and shows that depict the cultures and experiences of ordinary Africans, has revealed plans to introduce cheaper mobile-only subscriptions in Nigeria and the rest of Africa in order to strengthen its presence in the country and the region as a whole.

Still in its trial phase, Netflix intends expanding the mobile-only contracts permanently if the trials, which began in South Africa and Egypt, become a success.

It is, however, offering subscribers N1,200 (US$2.65) a month for its mobile-only service, well below the N2,900 it has been charging for its most basic account.

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Showmax flies off with Jetpack titles

Funrise’s Rainbow Butterfly Unicorn Kitty

South Africa-based SVoD service Showmax has acquired more than 150 hours of content from UK-based distributor Jetpack covering sub-Saharan Africa.

The deal means a range of shows from Jetpack’s catalogue will be available on the service in 2020 and 2021.

These include BES comedy animation Kitty is Not a Cat, Muckpuddy’s adventure-comedy animation The Barefoot Bandits, Outfit 7’s Talking Tom & Friends, Jam’s Becca’s Bunch and Funrise’s Rainbow Butterfly Unicorn Kitty.

Candice Fangueiro, Showmax’s head of content, said: “Our business has fundamentally changed over the past few months, with SVoD usage jumping dramatically, and kids’ content in particular has been extremely popular.

“The timing for this deal, which adds a wide range of new kids’ shows, couldn’t be better and it’s a perfect complement to the total revamp of the kids’ section that we recently completed, giving parents full control over what their kids can see.”

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Showmax orders four originals

New reality show Life With Kelly Khumalo

African SVoD service Showmax has commissioned four original shows as it looks to bolster its local content offering.

The titles include Life With Kelly Khumalo, a reality show about the South African singer, which will debut on August 6. Produced by Being Bonang prodco BarLeader, the show will follow single mother Khumalo as she juggles parenting with the build-up to the release of her new album.

Tali’s Baby Diary, meanwhile, a sequel to mockumentary Tali’s Wedding Diary, is set for release in 2021. Produced by Sketchbook Studios, the show will centre on main character Tali’s unexpected pregnancy, which forces her into a desperate pivot from Instagram influencer to wholesome ‘momfluencer.’

Skemerdans, a nightclub-set murder-mystery drama, follows the struggle between two brothers, a scorned widow and an organised crime syndicate. The 13-part series, exec produced by Amy Jephta (Trackers) via Nagvlug Films, will also be released next year.

Finally, Horror series Dam tells the story of a daughter who returns home to the Eastern Cape to bury her father, only to be tormented by spirits in their house. It is being written and directed by two-time South African Film & Television Award (SAFTA) winner Alex Yazbek and produced by Johannesburg-based Picture Tree (Vehicle 19) for 2021.

Showmax’s head of content for Africa, Candice Fangueiro, said: “We’ve deliberately ramped up our emphasis on local content. If you look at something like the first-view metric, which asks what’s the first show someone watches after signing up for Showmax under the assumption this is probably what convinced them to join, three out of the top five first-view pieces of content are now local.”

Previous Showmax originals have included the aforementioned SAFTA winner Tali’s Wedding Diary, plus The Girl From St Agnes and Somizi & Mohale: The Union.

Positioned to compete in Africa’s crowded streaming market, Showmax offers a unique combination of hit African content, first-run and exclusive international series, premium documentaries and award-winning kids’ shows. The service is owned by Naspers’ pay TV subsidiary MultiChoice Group.

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CEO Ekdahl quits MultiChoice

Niclas Ekdahl, CEO of connected video at African pay TV group MultiChoice, has left the company less than two years after taking the job.

Niclas Ekdahl

Ekdahl who has more than 19 years of executive leadership experience in the audiovisual services industry, was appointed in 2018 to handle several projects.

These included redesigning the DStv Now interface, the launch of OTT service Showmax’s mobile-only plan, and Showmax’s field tests performance for its standalone streaming service, which will offer DStv content over the internet without requiring an installed dish or decoder.

Yolisa Phahle, currently CEO of general entertainment at MultiChoice, will add Ekdahl’s role to her’s for the time being.

Joe Heshu, MultiChoice Group executive for corporate affairs, said: “Ekdahl decided to leave MultiChoice to pursue personal interests. We are grateful for his contribution in which he oversaw the growth of the Showmax and DStv Now platforms.

“Yolisa Phahle will take over Ekdahl’s position, in addition to running the general entertainment division. However, the work of our connected video business unit continues.”

MultiChoice’s video streaming service Showmax recently launched a new sports-themed streaming service called Showmax Pro. In addition, it intends launching a new service called DStv Explora that will carry SVOD platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.

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MultiChoice backs UN Covid campaign

MultiChoice Group has partnered with the United Nations (UN) as an official supporter of its Covid-19 awareness campaign, named Pause.

Imtiaz Patel

The Pause campaign, which is aimed at highlighting the dangers of sharing false information related to Covid -19, launched globally on June 30 with information broadcast across Africa through the DStv and GOtv on-air and digital platforms, SuperSport and M-Net properties and Showmax.

Furthermore, the campaign asks people around the world to pause, think and take care before sharing information that could be inaccurate or a result of misinformation and may have harmful effects.

Robert Skinner, senior advisor for global communications at the UN, said: “We are in a moment of global reckoning as Covid-19 and its social and economic consequences challenge the world in unprecedented ways. Misinformation, hate speech and fake news are fueling and distorting all of these challenges and eroding the truth. We are very excited to have MultiChoice onboard as a supporter giving the launch of our campaign reach across Africa. They are uniquely positioned to deliver this important message to their diverse audiences across the continent.”

MultiChoice executive chairman Imtiaz Patel added: “Reliable information is vital to the fight against Covid -19. The dissemination of credible information has become critical to fighting this epidemic, which continues to impact millions across the globe and our continent. We are, therefore, honoured to be able to utilise the continental reach of our broadcast and digital platforms across Africa to empower people with vital information.”

MultiChoice has supported a number of initiatives in the fight against the spread of the pandemic, which continues to wreak havoc across the globe and is being felt acutely across Africa. It also continues to seek opportunities to use its platforms to combat the spread of Covid-19 while supporting initiatives and airing educational and news-related content aligned with the organisation’s commitment to making an impact in the communities where it operates.

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