SOUTH AFRICA – MultiChoice Group, an African entertainment company, and NBCUniversal Media, an American multinational mass media and entertainment industry are set to commence an investment journey by injecting US$177 million into Showmax’s video streaming platform in 2024.
In 2023, MultiChoice, NBCUniversal and Sky collaborated for this financial investment as they aimed for a rebranding of Showmax. MultiChoice renounced 30 percent in Showmax to NBCUinversal.
The report said both companies planned to invest US$30 million in equity funding into Showmax, effective from February 2, 2024. However, an additional funding of US$127 million is expected during MultiChoice’s fiscal year, ending in March 31, 2024.
MultiChoice, in its pursuit of maintaining dominance amidst the competition from global streaming companies like Netflix, Amazon, and Disney, positions Showmax as a player in the streaming domain.
This competitive landscape sees players like Netflix investing in local content to fortify their foothold in the African market. MultiChoice’s investment strategy aligns with this trend, as it strives to elevate Showmax to a leading position in the African streaming scene.
The ongoing financial investment from both MultiChoice and NBCUniversal aligns with their proportional shareholdings, reflecting a balanced commitment during the investment phase.
MultiChoice maintains a 70 percent ownership stake in Showmax, underscoring its dedication to the platform’s expansion while Showmax modifies its content approach, not only spotlighting international offerings from NBCUniversal and Sky but also introducing original local programs.
This strategy aligns with the trend in streaming, acknowledging the potency of region-specific content to captivate and resonate with audiences effectively.
However, MultiChoice is set to augment Showmax’s allure by introducing an independent live Premier League soccer plan tailored for African subscribers. This innovative move, coupled with the imminent launch of original local content programs in February, contributes to the platform’s distinctive content repository.
Multichoice appoints Andrea Zappia as chairman
MultiChoice Group’s Showmax, has named Andrea Zappia, a top executive at Sky, as its new chairman. Zappia’s appointment comes as the company seeks to expand its presence in the streaming industry of Africa.
Zappia, who was previously the CEO of Sky’s new markets and businesses, joined the board of MultiChoice in September and became chairman this month.
MultiChoice CEO, Calvo Mawela, expressed his excitement at Zappia’s appointment, stating that his leadership and experience in the streaming industry would be instrumental in the company’s efforts to become the leading provider of streaming services in Africa.
With Zappia’s appointment, MultiChoice Group is well-positioned to take advantage of the growing demand for streaming services in Africa. The company has already made significant strides in this direction, and with Zappia at the helm, it is poised to continue its rapid growth and expansion throughout the continent.
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