For some reason, this doesn’t get reported as the big deal that it is. First that last year, one of the world’s biggest media conglomerates looked into the African market and saw big future for streaming and for Multichoice, when in March of that year Comcast, the parent company of NBCUniversal in the United States and Sky in the United Kingdom acquired a 30% stake in MultiChoice. That partnership gave Showmax access to NBCUniversal’s premium video-streaming asset, Peacock.
That’s why Showmax changed its app last week. And sure, there were challenges that shouldn’t have been, like everyone losing their ‘continue watching;’ tab because of the new download, but the new app really is good and shows what happens when global technology meets local content, in this case the already user-friendly experience that is the Peacock app.
Considering its own interim report last year showed a loss of nearly 500,000 subscribers in South Africa alone in the first half of the year (“as of the end of September 2023, the pay-TV broadcaster’s 90-day active subscribers in its country of origin stood at 8.629 million. This was 486,000 less than the 9.115 million it had at the same point in 2022, broadband.za reports.”), this is also a significant development for the company.
But in addition to Canal+ wanting more stake in Multichoice, the fact that Peacock is going all in on Showmax is a good sign for the long term prospects of the service – and for the industry it carries on its back. Avery good sign. We pray.