Video on demand service ShowMax launched on 19 August, offering South Africans access to a wide range of movies and TV series for R99 per month.
ShowMax is owned by Naspers, which raises the question as to whether it will compete against MultiChoice’s DStv products.
When ShowMax was asked about possible competition, the feedback was clear: ShowMax will compete with DStv.
ShowMax spokesperson Richard Boorman said that video on demand used to be seen as complementary to linear TV, but this was changing.
“It’s early days so it’s difficult to predict what the impact will be, but it’s fair to say that ShowMax will compete against DStv,” said Boorman.
“In our view it’s a win-win for customers, who get to choose the service or combination of services that’s exactly right for them.”
In the United States, “cable cord-cutting” is making headlines, with the year-over-year growth in cable pay-TV services going negative.
One of the reasons for the decline of cable pay-TV subscribers is competition from online streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime.
While South Africa’s broadband penetration rates and broadband speeds are much lower than the US, streaming video services have seen some uptake in the country.
Regarding possible competition from ShowMax, MultiChoice said it and ShowMax were separate businesses, and that “it remained to be seen how viewer and subscriber take up will unfold”.