by Thinus Ferreira
Acorn TV is shutting down in South Africa four years after it became available in the country, as the next video streaming service going dark in South Africa's fiercely contested streaming wars.
Acorn TV, a global video streamer that launched in South Africa in December 2018 and 29 other countries after its launch in 2011 in America and Canada, is now shuttering without explanation, and offered a library carousel of British and international TV series, as well as some new original shows.
When it launched in South Africa, Acorn TV said that it was "excited for global fans of British and international drama and mystery to discover the wonders of Acorn TV with addictive series featuring stellar acting, beautiful settings, and gripping storylines" and that it would offer "a wide assortment of first-rate British and international television".
Acorn TV, owned by AMC Networks' RJL Entertainment, was competition for BritBox SA, jointly run by the BBC and ITV, that launched in South Africa in August 2021 also offering British on-demand television content, as well as for the linear British pay-TV channels available in South Africa like BBC Brit, BBC Earth, BBC Lifestyle, CBeebies and BBC World News supplied by BBC Studios Africa to MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV service.
Acorn TV that billed South African subscribers in rand and has a subscription price of R79 per month and an annual plan of R799 per rand, is now warning South African subscribers in a message on its website that "Acorn TV will no longer be available in South Africa" and that users should cancel their subscriptions.
"We regret to inform you that Acorn TV will shut down in South Africa by the end of 2022. If you signed up online, please cancel your subscription by going to My Acorn TV and then Manage Account", the streamer says.
Executives of AMC Networks didn't respond with answers to a media query made earlier this week seeking comment about why Acorn TV is shutting down in South Africa, its subscriber count over the past four years and what the experience of operating in the country has been like.
The shuttering of Acorn TV comes a week after Telkom got out of the subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) business by handing its TelkomONE streamer over to the South African public broadcaster which was rebranded and repurposed as SABC+.
Acorn TV's demise in South Africa leaves TV viewers with video streaming services like Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV+, eMedia's eVOD, MultiChoice's Showmax, BritBox SA, VIU, SABC+, TruthTV, WOW Presents Plus, MarqueeTV and Jou Afrikaans (JA).