Disney, Netflix, and Showmax have announced plans to add a significant amount of new TV shows and movies to their streaming services in South Africa.
Disney+ launched in South Africa on 18 May, officially bringing its considerable catalogue of content to the African continent for the first time.
Through a series of acquisitions, the Walt Disney Company has come to own the Marvel and Star Wars franchises along with its slate of animated and family content.
It also bought 20th Century Studios, adding a trove of movies and TV shows to its library.
Of the streaming services operating in South Africa, Showmax has been around the longest, launching in August 2015. Netflix arrived shortly after in January 2016.
Amazon has offered its Prime Video service locally since December 2016.
Despite its relatively late entry into South Africa, Disney’s content catalogue and reasonable price make it a strong competitor to the already established players.
MyBroadband contacted Disney+, Netflix, and Showmax to find out their plans for South African viewers in the coming months.
Netflix recently announced its “From Cape to Cairo” collection, featuring exclusively African-based content like Savage Beauty and Blood Sisters.
On 24 March, the streaming giant announced that it would invest R900 million in the South African film and TV industry and partner with local production studios to create more local content.
One of these productions, Collision, will arrive for South African subscribers on 16 June.
Other than that, the streaming platform has primarily international content lined up for the next two months, like the sixth season of Peaky Blinders, Man vs Bee, Resident Evil, and The Gray Man.
Netflix also said it is working on two additional seasons of Formula 1: Drive to Survive.
Due to the success of its Formula 1 series, the streaming giant has partnered with the Professional Golfers’ Association and the Association of Tennis Professionals to produce more sports-related content.
The table below summarises the content streaming on Netflix throughout June and July. The table is not an exhaustive list.
Netflix did not comment on its South African plans by the time of publication.
|Netflix’s June and July content|
|1 June||Free State of Jones|
|Sex and the City: The Movie|
|3 June||Floor Is Lava: Season 2|
|7 June||That’s My Time with David Letterman|
|10 June||Peaky Blinders: Season 6|
|15 June||Iron Chef: Quest for an Iron Legend|
|God’s Favorite Idiot|
|16 June||Snoop Dogg’s F*cn Around Comedy Special|
|17 June||My Lover My Killer: Season 1|
|You Don’t Know Me|
|22 June||The Hidden Lives of Pets|
|The Umbrella Academy: Season 3|
|24 June||Man Vs Bee|
|The Man from Toronto|
|29 June||Pirate Gold of Adak Island|
|The Upshaws: Season 2 Part 1|
|6 July||King of Stonks|
|8 July||The Sea Beast|
|14 July||Resident Evil|
|20 July||Virgin River|
|22 July||The Gray Man|
|29 July||Purple Hearts|
Showmax has said that it is directing its efforts toward delivering subscribers locally relevant content.
“We will continue to focus on what we do best: streaming content African audiences will love and delivering an excellent streaming product designed for the African market,” MultiChoice Connected Video communications head Laura Cooke told MyBroadband.
“We have the biggest library of African content to stream and will continue to empower African filmmakers to tell their stories in their own languages without the need to over-explain, dilute or translate anything for international audiences,” she said.
In addition to its slate of content aimed at African viewers, Showmax also offers popular international TV shows and films.
The streaming platform’s partnership with HBO gives subscribers access to acclaimed shows like Westworld season 4 towards the end of June and the third season of Barry in July.
Showmax Pro subscribers get a live sports lineup that includes the English Premier League, the UEFA Nations League, the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, and the Commonwealth Games.
The table below summarises the content on offer from Showmax in June and July.
|Showmax’s June and July content|
|1 June||Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty|
|Devils: Season 2|
|The Bay: Season 2|
|Law & Order: Organized Crime|
|Black Power: A British Story of Resistance|
|John Lewis: Good Trouble|
|Street Gang: How We Got To Sesame Street|
|2 June||BBNaija’ Shine Ya Eye’ Reunion|
|9 June||My Brilliant Friend S3: Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay|
|13 June||John and the Hole|
|15 June||Mayans M.C.: Season 4|
|16 June||Meet Malusi|
|Zack Snyder’s Justice League|
|17 June||Kyallo Kulture|
|20 June||The Protégé|
|The Card Counter|
|27 June||Westworld: Season 4|
|Godzilla vs. Kong|
|4 July||Sons of the Sea|
|5 July||Life with Kelly Khumalo|
|7 July||Down So Long|
|18 July||Klein Karoo 2|
Disney has not revealed much regarding its streaming service’s post-launch content in South Africa.
However, the company promised to continue adding content as the associated rights are cleared.
Meanwhile, Obi-Wan Kenobi’s first season will conclude this month, with the fifth and final episode releasing on 22 June.
That same day, Disney+ subscribers will receive Marvel’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
The film is fresh off the circuit, having opened in cinemas at the start of May.
Guardians of the Galaxy fans can look forward to I am Groot shorts later in the year, which will be available to stream from 10 August.
We asked Disney what content it plans to bring to its South African userbase for the rest of June and throughout July, but the company did not respond by the time of publication.