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Multichoice starts sports streaming in Nigeria to counter Netflix

Miko Issaka

July. 07, 2020

Multichoice starts sports streaming in Nigeria to counter Netflix
MultiChoice has started streaming live sport including English Premier League soccer through an upgraded version of its Showmax service to help Africa’s biggest pay-TV company compete better with Netflix Inc. and Amazon.com Inc.
MultiChoice, which was spun out of Naspers Ltd. in February last year, is offering the new Showmax Pro in Nigeria and Kenya as of Tuesday and will add more sub-Saharan Africa markets over the next two months, according to Niclas Ekdahl, head of the Johannesburg-based company’s connected video division.
According to a report by Bloomberg the main aim is to attract subscribers and it won’t be necessary to be a TV customer to sign up, he said.
The move is designed to set Showmax apart from Netflix and Amazon Prime, which have both been expanding aggressively in Africa. MultiChoice launched the video-on-demand service five years ago to help stem deflections from its more expensive TV service, positioning itself as a better provider of more localized content than its U.S. competitors.
Since then, Netflix in particular has started to commission and screen Africa-produced dramas such as Queen Sono and Blood and Water, upping the ante in the race to attract viewers.
Faster internet connections and cheaper packages on the continent have equally made online streaming a viable alternative to pay-TV.
MultiChoice’s Supersport unit is the jewel in the company’s crown, showing live sport such as soccer, rugby, cricket and golf from all over the world.
Sharing the content with Showmax risks encouraging viewers to jump to the cheaper platform, though the Pro offering will be more expensive than the the currently available service.
Showmax Pro, which will also have news and music channels, costs 2,100 shillings ($19.66) a month in Kenya, compared with 760 shillings for the sport-less version. DSTV packages in the East African country, with varying amounts of sport, range from 4,420 shillings to as much as 7,370 shillings.
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