Last Updated on July 17, 2020

MultiChoice Launches Sports Streaming Service, Showmax Pro

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MultiChoice Group Showmax has launched a live sports streaming service in Kenya and Nigeria. The streaming service called Showmax Pro will include football matches from the UK, Italy and South Africa. Sports, especially soccer, is a major drawcard for television viewership globally, but especially in football-mad Africa.

Showmax already offers a streaming service of entertainment, music, and news. However, it is tapping into the soccer content from SuperSport, the sports arm of its parent company, MultiChoice.

SuperSport, included in MultiChoice’s DStv satellite service is a decades-old sporting service, that is akin to Africa’s ESPN or Sky Sports. The launching of Showmax Pro shows MultiChoice is thinking strategically as sports and news are the strong remaining drawcards for subscription services. Including live sport in the offering is a smart play to enhance the value of a Showmax Pro subscription while holding off Netflix.

Showmax Pro started streaming on 7 July offers a mobile option too. Its subscription costs from $8 a month in Nigeria and $10 in Kenya. The football offering will include all the games from the Premier League, Serie A and La Liga. South Africa’s Premier Soccer League is also included in the offering.

Need for Showmax Pro in Africa

According to the CEO of the Connected Video division of MultiChoice, “Showmax Pro is the biggest thing we’ve done at Showmax in the five years since we first launched”.

He further said: “Africa is incredibly diverse, so offering a single monolithic product may not be the best solution. Our approach is to standardize where we can and tailor where we need to. That is why you’ll see different local content on Showmax in Nigeria than you will in Kenya, and South Africa’s”.

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Speaking on payments methods, he said: “Payment methods and partnerships have to be localized. However, the need for a mobile-only option and the desire for great international sporting content is universal.”

Given its African roots and understanding of the continent’s poor connectivity, Showmax has been built to optimize for slow internet.

CEO of Connected Video Division Resigns

Niclas Ekdahl, Former CEO of connected video division at MultiChoice

Just days after launching the Showmax Pro service, Niclas Ekdahl, CEO of connected video division at MultiChoice resigned. He spent less than two years leading the connected video division.

Ekdahl was appointed in 2018 to handle several projects. Some of the projects are redesigning the DStv Now interface, the launch of OTT service Showmax’s mobile-only plan. He also handled Showmax field tests performance for its standalone streaming service The standalone service will offer DStv content over the internet without requiring an installed dish or decoder.

Yolisa Phahle, currently CEO of general entertainment at MultiChoice, will add Ekdahl’s role to her’s for the time being.

Joe Heshu, MultiChoice Group executive for corporate affairs, said: “Ekdahl decided to leave MultiChoice to pursue personal interests. We are grateful for his contribution in which he oversaw the growth of the Showmax and DStv Now platforms.

“Yolisa Phahle will take over Ekdahl’s position, in addition to running the general entertainment division. However, the work of our connected video business unit continues.”

MultiChoice also intends launching a new service called DStv Explora. It will carry SVOD platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.

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