After first only rolling out live and pre-recorded sports content to a randomly selected group of customers in South Africa, Showmax has now rolled out the feature to all customers in South Africa. What is great for Showmax customers is that the ability to live stream sports games and other pre-recorded sports content will not carry an additional cost as the company has emphasized that the price of the monthly Showmax subscription will remain unchanged at R99.

The change came into effect on Friday 14 June 2019.

“Adding sport to Showmax is something fundamentally new for us and it’s a big deal. We’re preparing for a future when uncapped data is affordable to all in Africa and video on demand becomes the norm. We’ve been delivering TV series and movies for almost four years and continue to see strong growth in usage. Sport is the obvious next target and the only way to do that properly is to be able to stream it live,” said Niclas Ekdahl, CEO of MultiChoice’s Connected Video division.

Screenshot of Showmax home page after a South African user logs in.

Game changer

The video streaming business is a tough one to compete in especially when considering that most services have similar catalogs of series and movies. Very little differs between the various video streaming services with only exclusive content being the main differentiator.

With Showmax, which is owned by MultiChoice, now moving into live streaming of sports it could be their biggest advantage over the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.

The new sports content on Showmax includes live streaming of South Africa’s games in the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup and the SuperSport Rugby Challenge matches.

What's next?

Given that MultiChoice's DStv (satellite television) customers already have the option to stream all channels, including sports channels, online or via mobile devices, it is possible that it is only a matter of time that all sports (depending on licensing agreements) will be available for live streaming on Showmax.

The other thing that remains to be seen is whether Showmax will roll out live streaming of sports to the rest of the markets they operate in across Africa.

“The obvious question is where to from here? We’re going to trial a bunch of different sport content while keeping Showmax at the R99 price point, and see how our customers interact with the service. We’ll be ramping up our live game offerings with everything from selected matches from the best football leagues in Europe to streaming a wide variety of varsity and school sports,” concluded Ekdahl.

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