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Big changes coming to Showmax streaming

MultiChoice says it will relaunch Showmax, offering local and global entertainment, following investment by the US giant Comcast.

MultiChoice is set to relaunch Showmax on NBCUniversal’s Peacock technology platform, drawing on additional content from NBCUniversal and Sky. It says it will offer audiences local and global entertainment, as well as live matches of the English Premier League (EPL) football.

However, this may mean it will eventually be forced to dump HBO, the source of its most popular international content. For now, it is included in the new arrangement.

MultiChoice Group and Comcast’s NBCUniversal and Sky last week announced a partnership that will bring new content and technology to streaming customers across MultiChoice’s 50-market footprint in sub-Saharan Africa. The new Showmax group will be 70% owned by MultiChoice and 30% by NBCUniversal.  In Nigeria, NBCUniversal will hold an indirect 23.7% stake in the local subsidiary.

Powered by Peacock’s globally-scaled technology, Showmax subscribers will have access to an extensive premium content portfolio, bringing African audiences both local and international programming. The service will combine MultiChoice’s accelerating investment in local content with a pipeline of award-winning and critically acclaimed international content licensed from NBCUniversal and Sky.

It will continue to draw on 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 African content like Showmax Originals and local content from MultiChoice’s proprietary channels, including Mzansi Magic, Africa Magic and Maisha Magic. 

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

“We launched Showmax as the first African streaming service in 2015 and are extremely proud of its success to date,” said Calvo Mawela, CEO of MultiChoice. “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 of Sky, said: “This new collaboration in streaming 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.”

Further details about the new Showmax service, including launch date, content and pricing will be announced at a later date.

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