Big changes are coming to Showmax

MultiChoice will relaunch Showmax on NBCUniversal’s Peacock technology platform, leveraging additional content from NBCUniversal and Sky. It will offer viewers local and global entertainment as well as live matches of English Premier League (EPL) football.

However, that may mean it will eventually be forced to ditch HBO, the source of its most popular international content. For now, it’s included in the new arrangement.

MultiChoice Group and Comcast’s NBCUniversal and Sky announced last week a partnership that will bring new content and technology to streaming customers in MultiChoice’s 50 markets in sub-Saharan Africa. The new Showmax group will be 70% owned by MultiChoice and 30% by NBCUniversal. In Nigeria, NBCUniversal will hold an indirect 23.7% interest in the local subsidiary.

Powered by Peacock’s globally scaled technology, Showmax subscribers have access to an extensive portfolio of premium content, offering both local and international programming to African audiences. The service will combine MultiChoice’s accelerated investment in local content with a pipeline of award-winning and critically acclaimed international content licensed from NBCUniversal and Sky.

It will continue to draw on third-party content from HBO, Warner Brothers International, Sony and others, as well as live English Premier League (EPL) football. The partnership also provides access to African content such as Showmax Originals and local content from MultiChoice’s own channels including Mzansi Magic, Africa Magic and Maisha Magic.

Utilizing a significant portfolio of global media assets and Peacock’s streaming platform, which ended 2022 with over 20 million paying subscribers in the US, NBCUniversal and Sky will provide continued support through technology and content licensing.

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“We launched Showmax as the first African streaming service in 2015 and are very proud of its success to date,” said Calvo Mawela, CEO 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 we announced last September. We believe we are very well positioned to create a successful platform for the future.”

Dana Strong, Sky Group CEO, said: “This new streaming and content collaboration with MultiChoice, NBCUniversal and Sky takes our partnership to the next level in one of the most dynamic and fastest growing markets in the world. Last year we announced MultiChoice as a customer of the Sky Glass platform and we are now excited to help innovate their Showmax streaming service.”

More details on the new Showmax service, including launch date, content and pricing, will be announced at a later date.