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Showmax Streamlines Focus to African Markets


Video streaming service Showmax, owned by MultiChoice, is shifting its availability to exclusively serve African markets starting December 1, 2023.

Showmax announced it will no longer operate outside Africa, marking a strategic refocusing on its domestic customer base. The service first launched internationally in 2015, providing South African ex-pats and travellers access to local content.

But now Showmax states: “As of December 1st, we will only be available in African markets.” This regional restriction takes effect at midnight on November 30.

The streamlining comes as MultiChoice prepares to unveil Showmax 2.0 in partnership with NBCUniversal. This next-generation Showmax will combine MultiChoice’s African content investments with NBCUniversal’s international programming.

As part of the deal, NBCUniversal acquired a 30% stake in MultiChoice’s new streaming division, EarthCo, which will operate Showmax 2.0. The platform is expected to launch across 44 sub-Saharan African countries by March 2024.

While Showmax scales down its global presence, some of its African content will still reach international audiences. Demand for its local programming continues growing overseas, with MultiChoice’s international content sales up 38% last year.

The company stated it would maintain partnerships to distribute standout shows like its hit Real Housewives franchises globally. But, the core Showmax service aims to prioritize African markets going forward.

Some overseas subscribers claim Showmax already halted their accounts prior to the December 1 deadline. User Egypt Koketso shared on Twitter that Showmax had abruptly cancelled her membership.

Koketso expressed frustration, given her recent November subscription payment. Showmax had informed customers they could continue using the service until expiration post-October 30.

In response to access concerns, a Showmax representative encouraged users to contact support for troubleshooting. They denied any early termination of active international accounts.

By consolidating Showmax’s focus, MultiChoice aims to capture surging digital growth in African markets. Showmax 2.0 represents a major investment to compete with global streaming giants like Netflix.

Targeting cost-conscious consumers across Africa, the revamped service will balance Showmax’s local content strengths with top international programming. While the company’s diaspora fans may lose access, Showmax’s realignment prioritises its core customer base within the continent.

This streamlined strategy strives to cement Showmax as Africa’s premier streaming destination amidst rising digital competition. Showmax hopes its unrivalled African content catalogue and revitalised platform will strengthen its positioning in fast-growing African digital media markets going forward.



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