Cell C’s financial report for the year ended 31 December 2018 shows that it spent R523 million acquiring programme and film rights during the year.
The rights are not explicitly stated as costs associated with its Black streaming service, but are defined as “contractual obligations for programme and film rights, acquired for the period between 3-to-5 years.
Cell C launched Black in November 2017, and punted it as the future of entertainment.
It offers an array of streaming packages, including daily, weekly, and monthly subscriptions – and its content offering includes sports, movies, and series.
In January, Black offered prospective subscribers a 7-day free trial of “Binge Elite” – its premium subscription package – to encourage sign-ups.
Previously, Black’s free trial only covered its entry-level package, Binge Select, although this trial was available for 30 days.
Cell C loss
Cell C’s financials for 2018 show that while the company recorded revenue of R15.69 billion, it suffered a total comprehensive loss of R1.27 billion.
The mobile network’s negative performance has drastically affected its major shareholder Blue Label in recent months, with its share price on the JSE dropping from R14.96 in January 2018 to R5.26 in December 2018.
Blue Label Telecoms co-CEO Brett Levy is upbeat about Cell C’s prospects, however, and said in December that they have a clear strategy and vision for Cell C.