Why MultiChoice is unshaken by South Africa's regulator's concerns about streaming threat

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May 16, 2024
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2 min read
MultiChoice's building
  • South Africa's Department of Communication and Digital Technologies (DCDT) is concerned that on-demand music and online video streaming services may pose serious threats to South African broadcasters while disrupting the global industry.
  • However, MultiChoice is said to remain confident that its broadcasting product, DStv, will weather industry changes.
  • DCDT concerns arise following a consistent annual increase in broadcasting companies' revenue. Per the department, the revenue generated by broadcasting services increased by 12% between 2021 and 2022.

It also highlighted the growing acceptance and use of technologies such as augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and mixed reality (MR) to engage audiences in novel and captivating ways.

“Community TV stations, free-to-air and public broadcasters, and subscription TV services all need to adapt to keep up with the digital revolution sweeping video entertainment. Majority of local broadcasters prepared and launched new business models that will expand their product offers on digital platforms,” it said.

Responding to MyBroadband's request for comment on the DCDT's opinion, the company stated, "MultiChoice has increased its investment in local content. MultiChoice is the biggest funder of local content in Africa and produces thousands of hours of local content annually, further expanding our local content library.”

Recall that in March 2023, NBCUniversal, an American giant, announced it would acquire a 30% stake in Showmax, MultiChoice's video platform. 

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MultiChoice said it’d continue to support Showmax with its local market knowledge, capacity for producing local content, portfolio of sports and general entertainment rights licences, and back-office support operations.

Moreover, the South African entertainment platform has emphasised that its general entertainment stable is performing well, with significant viewership across both DStv and GOtv services, and it intends to continue expanding its repertoire.

In 2023, Showmax surpassed Netflix in the African market, capturing up to 40% of the market, and is expected to reach 2.1 million subscribers by 2026. In the following year, MultiChoice revamped the Showmax streaming platform and updated subscription plans.

Also, Canal+, a French media company, has acquired over 45% of MultiChoice's shares as the deadline for publishing a joint circular on June 4, 2024, approaches.


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