Wednesday, June 24, 2020

This is how MultiChoice changed its 2019/2020 financial results presentation in which it first revealed that it is adding Netflix and Amazon Prime Video ... and then deleted and altered its presentation.

by Thinus Ferreira

MultiChoice in its 2019/2020 financial results presentation first revealed that it will add Netflix and Amazon Prime Video in the year ahead, then deleted it - and then awkwardly lied about having revealed it. This is how it happened:

In its 2019/2020 financial results presentation that MultiChoice published earlier this month, the pay-TV operator first revealed that it will be adding both Netflix and Amazon Prime Video as over-the-top (OTT) video streaming services besides launching DStv Streaming as its new internet stand-alone DStv look-alike service.

After this financial results presentation revelation, MultiChoice awkwardly deleted and altered its official presentation that it had already published on its website.

After that, in interviews, MultiChoice CEO Calvo Mawela when asked about it specifically, lied to the media about it and the fact that MultiChoice did make this information available itself, when he was questioned about the upcoming partnerships.

When MultiChoice announced its 2019/2020 financial results, TVwithThinus through its PR company Aprio that does corporate communication, requested an interview on 11 June with a MultiChoice executive like Tim Jacobs, MultiChoice's chief financial officer (CFO).

Aprio responded and said it "will get back to you soonest".

Aprio didn't.

On 16 June, after almost a week had gone by without any response, Aprio was again asked about the possibility of a 5-minute interview regarding the streaming services deals that were signed and how it works.

Aprio, without knowing what the questions would be, and after days had gone by, said that it's "unable to provide you with an interview right now". 

When MultiChoice published its 2019/2020 financial presentation it revealed that it had signed deals with two video streaming services and showed that it was Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, including their names and logos.

MultiChoice, possibly alarmed about the massive mistake it made, then rushed to altered its 2019/2020 financial presentation after publication.

MultiChoice deleted the Netflix and Amazon Prime Video references, and altered how its official financial presentation done for investors, looked but did so in a very rushed and bad way.

MultiChoice didn't add any advisory or notification for investors or the media that it had deleted and altered its original 2019/2020 financial presentation, although questions about and reporting about the video streaming deals completely overshadowed coverage of MultiChoice's annual financial report because of what the presentation originally contained.

While MultiChoice didn't want to make anyone available to talk to TVwithThinus, MultiChoice executives were made available for interviews elsewhere.

Business Day TV (DStv 412) in an interview with Calvo Mawela asked "you've signed a deal with Netflix and Amazon Prime Video to bring their services using a high-end DStv Explora PVR".

Calvo Mawela responded: "Let me start by just qualifying it. We made a statement that there are 2 OTT players that we have signed agreements with".

On CNBC Africa (DStv 410) in an interview Calvo Mawela lied and said "we have not confirmed which are the two OTT players that we are bringing onto our platform. We have announced that there are 2 OTT that are coming onto our platform".

He said that "once we are ready we will announce who are those 2 players that are going to be on our platform".

In an interview with TechCentral, Tim Jacobs said that the included Netflix and Amazon Prime Video in the financial presentation "were there only as examples of international streaming companies".

In an interview with MyBroadband, Tim Jacobs used the excuse that MultiChoice is "in a pre-release embargo period with both of these international players" and therefore can't release brand names.

In an interview on The Money Show with Bruce Whitfield on CapeTalk and 702 radio, Tim Jacobs was also asked to "talk about Netflix and Amazon and integrating those into new DStv Explora decoders".

Tim Jacobs said that MultiChoice has signed agreements with 2 subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) providers "without naming who those providers are".

ALSO READ: MultiChoice to add Netflix and Amazon Video Prime as video streamers, now reaches 19.5 million subscribers.
ALSO READ: EXPLAINER. How and why MultiChoice by adding video streamers to its DStv offering is finally pivoting into becoming a pay-TV Sweets from Heaven.  
ALSO READ: MultiChoice wants to be a ‘one-stop shop’ for TV content, next DStv Explora will provide access to Netflix, Amazon Prime Video OTT streamers.