Thursday, September 3, 2015

MultiChoice says new Naspers' upstart Showmax 'tries to eat our lunch'; 'Naspers is throwing a direct competitor to cannibalise the DStv audience'.

MultiChoice says the new Naspers' video-on-demand (VOD) upstart ShowMax "tries to eat our lunch" and that the satellite pay-TV platform operating the DStv service will have to deal with its pay-TV audience being "cannibalised" by ShowMax.

Tim Jacobs, CEO of MultiChoice Africa Africa, said at the MultiChoice Content Showcase in Mauritius that MultiChoice has to deal with and confront competition from other content provider services, like ShowMax in South Africa.

ShowMax launched in South Africa in mid-August as a new VOD streaming service to pre-empt the arrival of the global streaming service Netflix in South Africa before the end of 2016. ShowMax is run by Naspers which owns MultiChoice and DStv.

Although ShowMax is competition for MultiChoice, the VOD player is also competition for Times Media Group's VIDI and MTN's FrontRow.

"ShowMax competes against us as MultiChoice and tries to eat our lunch," said Tim Jacobs. "Naspers is throwing a direct competitor to cannibalise our audience as fast as it can and we have to deal with that."

At the MultiChoice Content Showcase Tim Jacobs gave insight on how MultiChoice decides what DStv channels to add and launch. "In terms of how we roll out product and content, our teams do a lot of research into deciding what to launch next. The vision is to really have a channel that caters for every specialist niche market or language group across the continent."

"Piracy is a massive threat to broadcasters and rights holders, worldwide," said Tim Jacobs.

"Pirates are only about enriching themselves. We work with rights holders and broadcasters to stop it, but it's a moving target because their infrastructure means they can open new portals as we shut others down".

MultiChoice excluded South Africa's press and TV critics from attending the MultiChoice Content Showcase that media from other Africa countries are attending, and MultiChoice didn't inform South African journalists covering the TV industry beforehand that the event would be taking place.

MultiChoice's 5 day DStv Content Showcase in Mauritius started on Tuesday with the satellite pay-TV service doing a programming and content upfront where several TV channels - from Sony Television and BBC Worldwide to SuperSport, M-Net, Viacom's BET, MTV Base, A+E Networks UK's History, Lifetime and others - are presenting their latest and upcoming programming and content over the coming months.