MultiChoice Group and Comcast’s NBCUniversal and Sky have entered into a new partnership that will bring some of the world’s best content and technology to streaming customers across MultiChoice’s 50-market footprint in sub-Saharan Africa.
It will come at a time when the continent 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, while in one country (Nigeria) NBCUniversal will hold an indirect 23.7% stake in the local subsidiary. It will build on Showmax’s success to date and aim to create the leading streaming service in Africa.
Powered by Peacock’s globally-scaled technology, Showmax subscribers will have access to an extensive premium content portfolio, bringing African audiences the best of local and international programming. The service will combine MultiChoice’s investment in local content with a pipeline of 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.
Using a significant portfolio of global media assets and Peacock’s streaming platform, which finished 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.
Commenting on the development, Calvo Mawela, CEO of MultiChoice, said: “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.
“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, Sky, added: “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, said: “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”.
Further details about the new Showmax service, including launch date, content and pricing, will be announced at a later date.