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Why Peacock Technology and an NBCUniversal-Sky Partnership Could Turbocharge African Streamer Showmax (EXCLUSIVE)

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Thinus Ferreira Guest Contributor In the chase for scale in streaming, it’s the technology behind NBCUniversal’s Peacock that could be the saving grace for African SVOD service Showmax.

Pan-African pay-TV operator MultiChoice revealed on Thursday that it will be relaunching its regional streamer Showmax with Peacock technology.

NBCUniversal and the U.K.’s Sky will take a 30% share in a new company that will redevelop and overhaul Showmax for African audiences.

Launched in 2015, Showmax has been feeling the intense pressure of lower-priced global streamers like Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video and Apple TV+ scooping up subscribers across the African market. (HBO Max is yet to launch and Paramount is still working on a Paramount+ rollout for the continent.) With Peacock not yet available in Africa, NBCUniversal and MultiChoice are signalling what might be the start of a new wave of consolidation in Africa for streamer survival, with MultiChoice keeping 70% and NBCUniversal a 30% stake in a “new” Showmax through Earth UK Holdings Limited (EarthCo), a new U.K.-registered company which will now be trading as “Showmax.” EarthCo’s senior leadership team will be based in its Dubai office — where MultiChoice has a presence — as well as the U.K., with operational teams in South Africa and Nigeria.

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