Advanced Television

MultiChoice, NBCU, Sky partner for African SVoD

March 2, 2023

By Colin Mann

MultiChoice Group and Comcast’s NBCUniversal and Sky have agreed a new partnership that will bring their content and technology to streaming customers across MultiChoice’s 50-market footprint in sub-Saharan Africa, at a time when Africa is approaching an inflection point in terms of broadband connectivity and affordability.

The new Showmax group will be 70 per cent owned by MultiChoice and 30 per cent by NBCUniversal. 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 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 Bros International, Sony and others, as well as live Premier League football. The partnership will also provide access to top African content such as Showmax Originals and local content from MultiChoice’s proprietary channels including Mzansi Magic, Africa Magic and Maisha Magic.

Using a  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.

“We launched Showmax as the first African streaming service in 2015 and are extremely proud of its success to date,” said Calvo Mawela, Chief Executive Officer 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.”

“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,” added Dana Strong, Group Chief Executive Officer, Sky. “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.”

“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,” commented Matt Strauss, Chairman, Direct-to-Consumer & International, NBCUniversal.

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