Sunday, September 27

Multichoice SA ‘feeling the heat’ as more players make inroads into the video industry

Multichoice South Africa appears to be feeling the heat as more players have started making inroads into the country’s entertainment and video-on-demand (VOD) sector.

ONTAPtv becomes the latest company to launch its services into the South African video-on-demand (VOD) market earlier in September. The launch came soon after the launch of Naspers-backed ShowMax; which is an indication that the market is about to heat up. When you consider the fact that Netflix has also indicated interest in launching its services into the South African market; then you would probably understand why Multichoice South Africa is feeling the heat.

The company through its Executive Chairman, Nolo Netele, said the regulatory framework in the country is not doing enough to protect traditional broadcasters against the onslaught of big foreign media companies.

Netele recalled that in the past, video content was only distributed by a few broadcasters but today they are countless. The Executive Chairman was speaking along with other senior executives of Multichoice at the company’s office in Randburg.

Multichoice SA 'feeling the heat' as more players make inroads into the video industry Technology: General
Multichoice DSTV decoder


Also speaking in support of Netele, Imtiaz Patel, and group CEO of Multichoice, added that in 2005, there was only SABC, eTV and Multichoice, but now consumers have video content access from international brands such as YouTube, Netflix, VIDI and HBO, among others.

There is a plethora of players now in the industry, which shows the changing nature of technology as well as consumer behaviour,” said Patel.

He further added that “Global international giants like Google, Netflix, Amazon, and Facebook are the real threat,” Patel noted. “These international players are not here to respect national boundaries.”

Unlike in South Africa where it is facing very stiff competition from VODs, Multichoice doesn’t have similar problems in Nigeria where it is coasting all the way in a market largely dominated by them. Though, there are other Pay TV players operating in Nigeria, Multichoice remains a dominant force in a territory where the major attraction is the English Premier League and the Spanish La Liga.

Speaking further on the challenges facing Multichoice, Patel said the company’s internal intelligence revealed Facebook and Google are raking in R3.2 billion annually from online advertising from SA; though they offer similar content as local broadcasters.

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