Showmax, the Multichoice owned streaming platform has announced the launch of a new service- Showmax Pro, which bundles the existing Showmax entertainment service with music channels, news, and live sport streaming from SuperSport. Showmax Pro will feature all Premier League, Serie A, La Liga, and PSL games as well as a wide range of live sport events including IAAF Athletics, professional boxing, and the world’s biggest marathons.
The service will begin to roll out in Kenya and Nigeria today while additional countries will go live in the following weeks. The entire process is expected to be completed within 6-8 weeks with coverage across sub-Saharan Africa.
Showmax originally launched in August 2015 and is available across sub-Saharan Africa. Speaking on Showmax’s history and what sets it apart, Niclas Ekdahl, CEO of the Connected Video division of MultiChoice, said:
“Showmax is an African video on demand service with many years’ experience operating on this continent. We’re local-first, which means listening to our customers and delivering African stories told in familiar voices as well as the best that Hollywood has to offer. Our local-first strategy is an advantage because it allows us to tailor our content, apps, packages, and partnerships specifically to what’s most important in Africa.”
In June last year, Showmax trialed streaming sports live and the new offering is based on the results of this. Ekdahl said about sport streaming:
“The live sport test we ran on Showmax in conjunction with SuperSport has been well received, so that’s forming an integral part of our new Showmax Pro service.”
One of the biggest challenges of streaming in the African market is data efficiency and ensuring penetration. In November last year, Showmax launched a mobile-only service for smartphones and tablets featuring all of the Showmax content but at half the cost of the standard Showmax service and consuming less data. The service proved popular, so the standard version of Showmax Pro will be complemented with a mobile-only version at half the price leading Ekdahl to say
“What else have we learned about operating an internet video service in Africa? Mobile usage is mainstream, so having a one-size-fits-all big screen service may not be the best solution here. With the mobile-only version of Showmax Pro, anyone with a smartphone in sub-Saharan Africa will be able to get the best African content, the best of Hollywood, and all of the best sporting action. This is something no other service is doing and we think it’s a game-changer.”