South Africa’s largest in-house streamer, Showmax, is officially relaunching in February 2024, eight years after it entered South Africa’s rather weak-sauce streaming market. The ‘new’ service will still be called Showmax but subscribers can look forward to a “brand-new look, new app and entirely new product suite.”
The relaunch has been in the works since at least March 2023 after the initial announcement of a new partnership between Comcast’s NBCUniversal and Sky with Showmax. At the time, MultiChoice said that the revamped streamer would “build on Showmax’s success to date and strive to create the leading streaming service in Africa.” It’s time for them to put their money where their mouth is.
Goodbye Showmax… oh you’re back
“We can’t wait to share the new Showmax,” says CEO Marc Jury. “We have an incredibly powerful new technology platform, a bold brand that truly represents our driving spirit, and a content slate that is unmatched. No other streaming service in Africa can offer what Showmax is bringing to the table in the new year.”
The revamped streaming service comes complete with a yassified logo and three new plans to choose from – ‘Entertainment’, ‘Entertainment Mobile’, and the “exciting” ‘Premier League’. ‘Entertainment’ will be the streamer’s flagship product and will feature content from Peacock – NBC’s US-based streaming service. Do we really need to explain ‘Entertainment Mobile’?
What caught our eye first was the Showmax Premier League plan, the “first standalone Premier League mobile streaming service ever to launch in Africa.” It’s seemingly a mobile-only package, and won’t be available for TVs – at least, at launch.
Neither Showmax nor MultiChoice have discussed pricing for the three new plans, the unveiling of which will likely take place in the new year, closer to that February 2024 release.
A smorgasbord of new content
The local streaming service won’t be slowing down on its content in the meantime. In fact, it’s doing the opposite, confirming that it’ll be “ramping up its content slate across the continent in December in preparation for the relaunch.” That includes the streamer’s first-ever 2D animation, plus a host of other new series, a full list of which can be found here.
That’s par for the Showmax course, though. The point of the partnership was to grow the streamer’s library of international content – which it has apparently done. A partnership with Comcast means the new service will feature content from NBCUniversal, Sky, DreamWorks Animation, Peacock, Universal Pictures, and Telemundo.
“Viewers can expect international titles on Showmax to radically increase in the new year,” it said, before noting that it would be adding The Super Mario Bros. Movie, Fast X, and The Winter King sometime this December. That doesn’t mean Showmax is ridding itself of the content it already owns. The streamer said that it would continue to draw content from HBO, BBC, ITV, Lionsgate, Paramount, Sony, Warner Bros, “among others”.
“Streaming in Africa is about to take off and we’re ready to change the game,” says Jury. “We have all the ingredients in place to become the number one streaming service for Africa.”