South African pay-TV provider MultiChoice Group (JSE: MCG) has partnered with NBCUniversal, Sky and Comcast to relaunch Showmax as the leading streaming service in sub-Saharan Africa. The deal will bring some of the world’s best content and technology to streaming customers across MultiChoice’s 50-market footprint at a time when Africa is approaching an inflexion point in terms of broadband connectivity and affordability.
The new Showmax 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.
“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,” said Calvo Mawela, CEO of MultiChoice.
Dana Strong, Group CEO of Sky, commented, “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, Direct-to-Consumer & International, NBCUniversal, added, “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.”
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. Further details about the new Showmax service, including the launch date, content and pricing, will be announced later.