Thursday, December 13, 2018

BREAKING. Naspers' Showmax shutting down in Poland after just 2 years, ending the service's lofty international expansion plans outside Africa as MultiChoice Group decides to refocus its video streaming efforts closer to home.

After barely 2 years of operation Naspers' Showmax is abruptly cutting its losses and shutting down in Poland where it has been operating as well outside of South Africa and the rest of sub-Saharan Africa, ending the subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) service's lofty international expansion plans as the MultiChoice Group refocuses its video streaming efforts closer to home.

Showmax will shutter in Poland at the end of January 2019, just over two years after it started in Poland in February 2017, promising original productions and a strong investment in local Polish shows and films.

Naspers plans to spin off the MultiChoice Group during the first half of 2019 that includes Showmax and that will continue with its South African and sub-Saharan Africa service.

Magdalena Marzec, Showmax Poland PR manager said the shut down of Showmax in Poland is part of the MultiChoice Group refocusing efforts on Africa.

"We are very grateful to all partners, clients and the Showmax team who have supported the company since its inception nearly two years ago and we are sorry that this story is coming to an end," a statement says.

Showmax Poland users don't have to cancel subscriptions or delete accounts - from 17 December Showmax in Poland will no longer charge a monthly fee for subsequent billing periods and by the end of January 2019, all subscriptions will expire.

In June this year, rival Netflix that launched in Poland in January 2016 a year before Showmax, was outpacing Showmax in terms of user growth according to data from Gemius/PBI.

Showmax has seen a constant top executive turn-over the past two years with first CEO John Kotsaftis who exited, followed by Chris Savides who was Showmax's head of Africa and left.

In August Naspers appointed Niclas Ekdahl as CEO of the newly-formed Connected Video unit in charge of Showmax and MultiChoice's DStv Now over-the-top service (OTT) for the MultiChoice Group.