According to South Africa’s leading online news portal, MTN is in discussions with Naspers with a view of acquiring the Pan-African premium TV network, MultiChoice Africa.
New of the potential acquisition of MultiChoice Africa has generated interests now with industry analysts pointing to strong competition from online streaming services which are gaining a strong foothold in the continent.
Founded in 1996, Multichoice Africa is currently present in more than 40 African countries where it provides video entertainment for subscribers. Some of the products of company are DStv, M-Net, SuperSport, GOtv, DStv Digital Media, DStv Media Sales and MWEB.
The acquisition by MTN might change the game in the continent as more and more telecoms companies raid the digital content segment.
In Kenya, Safaricom is making a strong push into homes with the Fibre to the Home link which is now having more than 15,000 subscribers nationally. This is a revenue segment which the traditional ISPs ignored. With the FTTH, Safaricom is also pushing it’s own set-top box, theBIGbox which has recently been relaunched.
It seems like Naspers is not seeing any future in the traditional premium TV market. The company is focusing now on investing in technology and internet companies through its Ventures division.
The traditional premium TV services are facing a strong competition from entities like Netflix, ShowMax, Android Boxes as well as pirated contents from websites which are not being policed in the Africa as is the case with most countries in the developed world.
Android boxes goes for as little as Ksh 5,000 while offering almost any kind of sports content you can dream of through the internet connections.
The other threat to Multichoice Africa’s dominance are new players which are offering more flexible plans like Kwese TV which recently dethroned the giant in the bid for NBA broadcast rights. Others are cheap Middle East based pay TV providers which offers premium sports content for as little as Ksh 10,000 for a whole year, unlike DSTV which offers the same at Ksh 10,000 per month.