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Naspers reports ‘solid’ pay TV growth for Multichoice

multichoiceSouth African media conglomerate Naspers, the owner of MultiChoice, added 340,000 pay TV customers in the six months ending September 30, taking its subscriber base to 8.4 million homes.

Announcing its annual results, Naspers, which provides pay TV services through MultiChoice under the DStv and GOtv brands, said that the “solid subscriber growth” drove pay TV revenues up by 18% year-on-year to R20.2 billion (€1.48 billion).

“MultiChoice now operates DTT in 11 countries and has around 873 000 subscribers. We continue to scale our transmission platform and place decoders in markets where we expect analogue switch-offs in the foreseeable future. These switch-offs, once implemented, should provide momentum for further subscriber growth,” said Naspers.

The firms said that its pay TV customers now rent some 600,000 movies per month through its BoxOffice service and that it will soon expand the service into sub-Saharan Africa.

It added that its personal video recorder (PVR) base has also expanded to nearly 1,2m subscribers, claiming that it will “continue to invest in our online products and offerings.”

Naspers has established regional production hubs in Nigeria and Kenya, and in South Africa the firm has invested more than R1bn invested in local content in the past year.

Overall the firm said that core headline earnings grew 24% to R6.1bn, despite expensing R4.4bn for the “continued development of the group’s ecommerce and pay-television platforms.”

“The second half of the year is traditionally the most active part of the year for most of our businesses. We expect some pick-up in spend as we capitalise on the holiday season, which could result in lower core headline earnings for that period,” said CFO, Basil Sgourdos.

“Our goal remains to develop online classifieds, etail and DTT to deliver future growth and create value over time.”