MultiChoice offers 4K World Cup; ups local spend
June 13, 2022
By Chris Forrester
South Africa’s MultiChoice pay-TV operation is to launch 4K content this autumn ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup football tournament being held in Qatar.
CEO Calvo Mawela stated that MultiChoice is ready for the World Cup in 4K and the service will be offered on its DStv and Showmax Pro platforms; Showmax Pro is the top tier of its SuperSport offering.
MultiChoice’s new set-top box decoder, the Explora Ultra, launched in 2020, is already 4K-ready and subscribers can access 4K content and through bundled apps from Netflix, Prime Video and Disney+. MultiChoice’s offering will reach an extra 100,000 Explora Ultras sold in the past year to March 31st.
However, while this is good news, it is unclear as yet as to whether other 4K material will be available to viewers after the FIFA event wraps.
MultiChoice has also announced intends spending half its programming budget on Africa-made material. The benefits are twofold: First, it recognises that such programming is appealing to its local audiences throughout Africa. Second, it then saves a fortune on licensing material from foreign produces, which it is having to fund in hard currencies.
The Johannesburg-based company’s streaming service Showmax increased paying subscribers by 68 per cent in the year to March 31st, in part due to the decision to “double down” on local content offerings, he said.
“Making African content and paying actors and staff in local currencies comes at a fraction of the cost of buying dollar-denominated international content,” said Mawela.