Monday, July 2, 2018

PCCW Global quietly shutters its video streaming service,, less than 3 years after it launched with big promises. has quietly shuttered its video streaming service with no word or explanation as to why, as it became the latest victim in South Africa's fiercely-contested subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) war where operators are all going after the same digital video eyeballs. that launched in September 2015 through PCCW Global, the Hong Kong telecom KHT's international operating division, and made big claims and promises lasted less than than 3 years.'s website now simply says "We are currently reviewing the service. Details to follow in due course."

When launched with 2 500 movies and episodes of TV shows it said it would add new content regularly and made promises about branching out into original local productions. and PCCW Global didn't respond to media enquiries made the past two weeks about the service and why it has been shut down. joins failed SVOD attempts like Altron's disastrous Altech Node and Tiso Blackstar's VIDI that tanked and MTN that shuttered VU after they all ran into trouble with a tepid uptake under users.

It leaves Discovery Digital's Digital Entertainment on Demand (DEOD), Cell C's black,, Google Play Movies, Netflix with Netflix South Africa (and available across Africa), Amazon's Amazon Prime Video and Naspers' Showmax run under the MultiChoice umbrella (and available across Africa) to duke it out for the small but growing number of South African and African users who are willing to pay for video streaming, pay for data and have access to fast enough internet.  

Vodacom will be next to launch a new subscription video-on-demand entertainment service that will include Showmax as well as Netflix.

"Vodacom will launch a new content service in the coming weeks that will offer a variety of content, a Vodacom video service and access to certain third-party content," Vodacom spokesperson Byron Kennedy told TVwithThinus.

Vodacom said the new service will be competitively priced and will be supported through discounted data use options.

Vodacom's as yet unnamed VOD platform has been months in the making and follows the launch of Cell C's black VOD service that launched in November 2017 and that has seen impressive growth.