Over the last six months, MultiChoice’s Showmax says it increased revenue by 46% to US$30 million, but due to ever-rising operational costs, it posted a trading loss of US$43 million.
MultiChoice revealed its Showmax numbers for the first time in its interim financial statements for the period ended 30 September 2023.
This followed the conclusion of the Showmax partnership with Comcast, which owns NBCUniversal, Sky and Peacock, on 4 April 2023.
This new Showmax group — Showmax Africa Holdings Limited — is 70% owned and controlled by MultiChoice and 30% by NBCUniversal.
The total price for the sale of 30% of the existing Showmax business was US$29 million.
BMA understands that the pay-TV operator is pinning much of its future growth on Showmax, especially with the pressure on its satellite TV business.
MultiChoice said it is working on transitioning Showmax to the Peacock platform and preparing to launch Showmax 2.0 in February 2024.
MultiChoice is upbeat about the prospects of its streaming platform, which it said will benefit from rising connectivity and smart device uptake in Africa.
MultiChoice said Showmax will enable it to double its customer base and deliver an additional US$1 billion in revenue in the medium term.
This is a very ambitious target, especially with stiff competition from global giants like Netflix, Amazon, and Disney.
Showmax did show strong subscriber growth. Its active subscriber base increased by 13% year-on-year, growing revenue by 46% to US$30 million.
Despite the strong revenue growth, Showmax’s losses increased because of increased costs related to support for the existing business and investment in the new platform.
MultiChoice Group CEO Calvo Mawela said Showmax is losing money because MultiChoice is aggressively investing in the platform.
In February 2024, a redesigned version of the service based on NBCUniversal’s Peacock platform will launch, with a mobile-only English Premier League package serving as the cornerstone on which MultiChoice wants to build its success.