South Africa's Showmax launches live sport streaming trial
Business - 11 Jun 2019
Showmax, the South African online subscription video-on-demand service owned by MultiChoice, the dominant pay-TV operator in the region, has launched a live sport streaming trial, allowing users to watch live sport on the platform.
The trial, which is taking place with a randomly-selected group of customers, includes access to:
• Live South Africa ICC Cricket World Cup games.
• Extended highlights from major games.
• SuperSport magazine and talk shows.
• Selected live professional and amateur events, including from the SuperSport Rugby challenge.
• Sport-focused movies and documentaries.
The option is available via several Showmax apps and platforms, excluding the Apple TV, Xbox and PlayStation consoles, and certain smart TVs.
Showmax tweeted that, while there are no plans to offer full bouquets of all sports, it “does intend to try different content on the service over time.”
MultiChoice has recently been in the news over an increasingly bitter debate over plans to open up the pay-TV market, having filed court papers accusing the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa, the media regulator, of attempting to rush through changes that will “put the pay TV operator out of business.”
MultiChoice, which owns dominant sub-Saharan African pay-TV broadcaster SuperSport, has filed an application to compel Icasa to provide all information, evidence and research that underpins its draft findings published on 12 April.
These included plans to:
• Reduce the duration of long-term contracts and prohibit automatic contract renewal;
• Force rights owners to split their content rights and sell them to more than one broadcaster to reduce exclusivity;
• And force sports rights to be unbundled.
• SuperSport has acquired rights to broadcast soccer’s Africa Cup of Nations in Kenya.
The tournament, hosted by Egypt, is scheduled for 21 June to 19 July.