MultiChoice links with NBCUniversal & Sky for Showmax relaunch

South Africa’s MultiChoice has partnered with Comcast-owned NBCUniversal and European pay-TV giant Sky to relaunch its streaming service Showmax in sub-Saharan Africa.

The new Showmax group will be 70% owned by MultiChoice and 30% by NBCUniversal, with the latter holding an indirect 23.7% stake in Nigeria via its local subsidiary. The partnership has been struck to take advatnage of a “growth opportunity in Africa, building on MultiChoice’s footprint across 50 markets… and the successful Showmax brand.”

The companies aim to “create the leading streaming service in Africa” which will be populated by a pipeline of content from NBCUniversal and Sky, third party content from HBO, Warner Brothers International, Sony and others, as well as live English Premier League football.

The partnership will also provide access to African content including Showmax Originals and local content from MultiChoice’s proprietary channels including Mzansi Magic, Africa Magic and Maisha Magic.

The streamer will be powered by the same tech behind NBCUniversal’s Peacock platform, with NBCUniversal and Sky providing ongoing support to Showmax through the licensing of both technology and content.

“We launched Showmax as the first African streaming service in 2015 and are extremely proud of its success to date. 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,” said Calvo Mawela, CEO of MultiChoice.

“The new business venture deepens an already strong relationship and builds on the Sky Glass technology partnership that we announced in September last year. We believe we are extremely well positioned to create a winning platform going forward.”

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