Showmax, MultiChoice Group’s streaming service, set for relaunch

MultiChoice’s streaming platform Showmax is set to relaunch as the service embarks on a new phase of growth. The rebrand and relaunch of Showmax will come almost a decade after the service was introduced to the market in 2015.

The relaunch will be follow-up to a statement made in March this year where MultiChoice Group and Comcast’s NBCUniversal and Sky announced a new partnership that would “bring some of the world’s best content and technology to streaming customers across MultiChoice’s 50-market footprint in sub-Saharan Africa, at a time when Africa is approaching an inflection point in terms of broadband connectivity and affordability.”

“The new Showmax group will be 70% owned by MultiChoice and 30% by NBCUniversal. It will build on Showmax’s success to date and aim to create the leading streaming service in Africa,” MultiChoice stated in the update to the group’s shareholders in March 2023. In Nigeria, NBCUniversal will hold an indirect 23.7% stake in the local subsidiary.

As part of the relaunch, the platform will be powered by Peacock’s globally-scaled technology, allowing Showmax subscribers to have access to an extensive premium content portfolio, bringing African audiences the best of local and international programming.

“The service will combine MultiChoice’s accelerating investment in local content with a unique pipeline of award-winning and critically acclaimed international content licensed from NBCUniversal and Sky, third party content from HBO, Warner Brothers International, Sony and others, as well as live English Premier League (EPL) football. The partnership will also provide access to all the best African content such as Showmax Originals and local content from MultiChoice’s proprietary channels including Mzansi Magic, Africa Magic and Maisha Magic,” MultiChoice added.

Using a significant portfolio of global media assets and Peacock’s streaming platform, which closed 2022 with over 20 million paid subscribers in the US, NBCUniversal and Sky will provide ongoing support through the licensing of both technology and content.

Showmax, an internet-based subscription video on demand service supplying an extensive catalogue of TV shows and movies to over 65 countries, expanded its coverage to Kenya in October 2016, seeking to introduce a new approach to mobile video in Kenya.

The service was a new concept in internet TV – it was a mobile-first, data-optimized product offering reduced data consumption with savings of up to 75%, with specific focus on local content paid through M-PESA. For one monthly fee, users were able watch as much as they want on a wide range of devices from smartphones and tablets to computers and smart TVs. With Showmax, customers were then able to pick what and when they want to watch, and there are no ad breaks.

When it entered the Kenyan VoD market, Showmax featured local favourites such as Real Househelps of Kawangware, Churchill Live, Auntie Boss, and Kona, as well as popular series and movies from Hollywood like Mr Robot, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Blue Bloods, and The Good Wife.

The platform’s subscribers could choose from a number of different download video quality levels. Using the most data-efficient setting, downloading a 20-minute TV show would use approximately 80 MB. For subscribers, this meant that a 7.5 GB data bundle would be enough for more than 90 episodes.




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