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MultiChoice Commits To Continue To Carry Showmax Losses

The CEO of the MultiChoice Group, Calvo Mawela has announced that MultiChoice will continue carrying losses accumulated by Showmax in the “medium term”, but the goal is for the streaming television service to eventually make a profit once broadband infrastructure in South Africa and the rest of the African continent has been built well enough to support it.

Originally introduced as a separate business entity under Naspers, Showmax was merged into MultiChoice in 2017, with Showmax’s Polish operations (which were never a part of the integration) being closed down shortly afterwards.
Naspers is now planning to unbundle its entire controlling stake in MultiChoice to shareholders shortly after it gets its listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange soon.

In a recent interview with TechCentral, Mawela said that MultiChoice would continue to invest in original content programming to boost Showmax’s performance.
He said that MultiChoice was very comfortable with Showmax’s current performance, and added that MultiChoice has an excellent research team that compares it to other (over-the-top) companies in the market. According to those researchers, so far MultiChoice is competing well with its peers.

The video entertainment company is, however, looking to improve Showmax’s offering, starting with commissioning more original local content. Following the success of the local series Tali’s Wedding Diary, it has scheduled the debut of its second original series, The Girl from St Agnes, for 31 January.

Mawela said that MultiChoice would carry on investing in original programming to better Showmax’s performance. He added that the other area of focus was the user experience and also the technology behind it to make sure that it is the best that it can be around recommendations.

MultiChoice also plans to strengthen its relationships with Hollywood studios and other major content suppliers to improve Showmax’s offering.

Mawela said that MultiChoice did not intend to report Showmax’s numbers separately when it publishes its full-year and its interim results, saying that the business is still “in its infancy”.

He did, however, add that as Showmax grows and becomes more significant in MultiChoice’s overall mix, they would then start reporting on it.

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