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S.Africa’s MultiChoice and Comcast to create Africa-wide streaming service

Africa’s biggest pay TV company, MultiChoice Group (MCGJ.J), said on Thursday it had entered into an agreement with U.S.-based media conglomerate Comcast (CMCSA.O) to create a pan-Africa video streaming platform.

The new streaming service, which will be built on MultiChoice’s streaming platform Showmax, will be 70% owned by the company, it said.

The remaining 30% will be owned by Comcast’s NBCUniversal, it added.

While MultiChoice has the biggest market share in pay TV in Africa, it has been struggling to penetrate deeper with Showmax due to competition from Netflix (NFLX.O), Amazon’s (AMZN.O) streaming service and Disney (DIS.N).

With the streaming companies now training their guns on sports rights in Africa, MultiChoice is being threatened in a market in which it has been a leader.

“This is an appropriate time to step up its ambition and investment in the subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) /over-the-top (OTT) segment,” it said.

The new streaming service will combine MultiChoice’s accelerating investment in local content with an extensive pipeline of international content licensed from NBCUniversal and Sky, the company said.

This will be complemented by third-party content from HBO, Warner Brothers International, Sony and others, as well as live English Premier League football, the company said. Reuters

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