Last month, MultiChoice launched Showmax Pro in South Africa – offering the full Showmax experience augmented with a live sports streaming package.
The service is considerably more expensive than the standard version of Showmax, but it offers a standalone live sport streaming package, something which Netflix does not include.
Netflix and Showmax have competed fiercely within the South African video-on-demand market, with each offering a number of major popular shows.
Both have also invested heavily into local content and the production of movies and series aimed at the South African and African markets.
With the introduction of Showmax Pro, however, the top-of-the-range products from both platforms now differ greatly in terms of price and content.
We have summarised the content and price differences between the Netflix Premium and Showmax Pro packages below.
Firstly, it is important to note that Showmax Pro offers a selection of live sport for online viewing – something only completely matched by DStv Now in South Africa.
However, DStv Now requires a standard DStv subscription, as will the standalone DStv streaming service MultiChoice plans to launch this year.
The live sport available on Showmax Pro, however, does not include many of the popular events available on SuperSport via DStv Premium.
The list of sports available on Showmax Pro is below:
- Football: English Premier League, LaLiga, Serie A, FA Cup, UEFA Champions and Europa Leagues (SA only), and Premier Soccer League.
- Athletics: Diamond League, and World Challenge League.
- Running: Berlin, Boston, London, NYC, and Soweto Marathons.
- Boxing: Selected IBF, WBA, WBO, WBC and African Boxing events.
- Other (SA only): Swimming, extreme sports, eSports, basketball, triathlon, horse racing, EFC, netball, and hockey.
Notably omitted from this list are rugby, cricket, and motorsport – although the selection is great if you are a football fan.
Netflix does not offer live sports streaming, and if you are concerned primarily with the type of content described above, then Showmax Pro is the better choice for you.
Movies and Series
When it comes to movies and series, however, the ball is squarely in Netflix’s court.
Not only does the international streaming platform offers a much wider selection of movies and series, but it also benefits from the large investment it has put into the production of high-quality Originals.
While Showmax also has original, funded productions, and HBO’s library of high-quality content, Netflix’s selection is much wider.
The movies and series available on Netflix and Showmax in South Africa are detailed below, according to catalogue aggregator JustWatch.
Content is subjective, and viewers may prefer to watch certain shows that are available on Showmax instead of having access to Netflix’s selection of content, or vice versa.
It is apparent that from comparing the numbers of both platforms, however, that Netflix has the edge in terms of content.
When it comes to pricing, Netflix Premium has a significant edge over Showmax Pro, being less than half the price.
However, Showmax Pro’s price is so high due to the inclusion of live sports streaming. The standard version of Showmax, which includes the same library of movies and series, costs the same as Netflix Basic.
Below are the monthly prices of Netflix Premium and Showmax Pro:
- Netflix Premium – R169
- Showmax Pro – R449
The Premium version of Netflix differs from the Basic plan by enabling 4K streaming support, as well as support for four simultaneous streams.
Showmax Pro does not offer 4K streaming and supports only two simultaneous streams.
While the standard version of Showmax is reasonably priced at R99 per month, the R449 price tag of Showmax Pro is a hefty price to pay for a streaming service every month.
Based on our comparison – unless you are a big fan of football or one of the other sports listed and do not have DStv, there is no reason to sign up for Showmax Pro over Netflix Premium.