DSTV Has Integrated ShowMax To Its Explora Decoder


DSTV has stepped up its competition in the video on demand, VoD market. The company has just integrated ShowMax, a VoD/video streaming service that belongs to Naspers to its Explora decoder.

Early last year, Naspers owners of DSTV and Tencent, had floated ShowMax, a video streaming service to counter the global incursion of Netflix into Africa, DSTV’s forte.

DSTV has started a campaign targeting its customers who have the Explora decoders to sign up for ShowMax. However, there are are many twists to this.

The service can only work with Explora that has WiFi Internet capability. DSTV already has its own VoD service on the same Explora decoder called BoxOffice. The payTV company had been pushing the product to its premium customers. The company made it available to all subscribers with the Explora decoder after the company saw the massive competition coming for its customers. It is unclear if DSTV would be shutting down BoxOffice and concentrate on ShowMax. It is also difficult to predict how this would play out as ShowMax is a separate company in the same Naspers group.

Another twist to the scenario is the pricing of the product. DSTV already charge customers for having BoxOffice functionality on their Explora. Its subscribers have to pay about USD7 per month for unlimited access to ShowMax’s 15,000 films. Will having to pay again for accessing ShowMax on Explora not amount to double-charging?

ShowMax has not provided data on its subscriber base but DSTV, has over 11 million customers. It is estimated that less than 5% of these numbers have the Explora decoder. If ShowMax and DSTV plays their cards well, ShowMax might be getting a ‘captive audience’ that will put it ahead of any VoD provider in Africa.


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