DTVE Data Weekly: MultiChoice Group unveils Showmax 2.0

While Canal+ now owns more than 40% of the MultiChoice parent company, Comcast’s NBCUniversal and Sky have, since March 2023, held a 30% stake in MultiChoice’s Showmax online video service. Their aim is to bring some of the world’s best content and technology to streaming customers across MultiChoice’s 44 markets in subSaharan Africa as the region approaches an inflection in broadband connectivity and affordability.

The newly revamped Showmax 2.0, launched in 1Q24, combines 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, and live English Premier League football.

MultiChoice has invested around $27m into the revamped Showmax offering and will pay approximately $13m to license Peacock’s technology for seven years. NBCUniversal will hold an indirect 23.7% in the local Nigerian Showmax subsidiary.

Showmax discontinued its Showmax Pro offering in October 2023 and has launched the world’s first standalone Premier League plan for mobile, with all 380 games offered live on Showmax Premier League. This new subscription tier offers considerable value to customers, particularly in South Africa, given the price point of $3.67 per month, substantially lower than the old Showmax Pro mobile price of nearly $12. It is also noteworthy that the steepest discounts are available on mobile-only tiers. However, Omdia sees this as a strategy to prevent the cannibalization of MultiChoice Group’s premium pay-TV offering.

MultiChoice Group announced a multimillion-dollar investment to increase the volume of Showmax original content by 150%, and this relaunch comes at a time when Amazon Prime Video is scaling back operations in the region, paving the way for Showmax to consolidate its dominant position in the subregion. Showmax announced a telco bundling deal with MTN South Africa in January 2024, and Omdia expects further telco bundling partnerships to be announced in Nigeria and Kenya this year in a push toward mobile-only viewing.


Showmax is currently a loss leader for MultiChoice Group, but the OTT subsidiary has bold ambitions of achieving $1bn in revenue, 50m subscribers within five years, trading profit breakeven by 2027, and a 25% EBITDA margin. Although Omdia is sanguine about Showmax’s growth prospects, it only generated $27m between November 2022 and November 2023 with a net loss of $75m and may eventually come under pressure from shareholders to improve margins. This could be achieved with future price hikes to increase ARPU, which would certainly derail its attempts to reach 50m subscriptions by the end of the decade. MultiChoice Group has stated that it is open to NBCUniversal’s parent company, Comcast, acquiring a larger percentage of Showmax in the future.

Samuel Nkwam is the research analyst for media & entertainment at DTVE’s sister company Omdia. Read the full report here.