Showmax 2.0 will not do much about stream quality or the number of concurrent screens. 

Multichoice’s newly minted platform, Showmax 2.0, will not be launched this November but in February 2024. Showmax 2.0 promised new shows and films from global production companies such as NBC and Paramount and a robust streaming engine powered by Peacock. The revamp was announced following a partnership between the video-on-demand service and Comcast’s NBCUniversal and Sky. However, the delay comes with additional information about how the platform will reorganise its subscription tiers, addressing complaints from customers accustomed to Showmax Pro, which has since been discontinued. Other than a new logo, Showmax 2.0 will offer three plans: Showmax Entertainment, Showmax Entertainment Mobile, and Showmax Premier League.

Showmax Entertainment will be accessible on multiple devices, including TVs, smartphone apps, and PCs. Thanks to the partnership with Comcast, subscribers will have access to shows, films, and content from international platforms such as Universal Pictures and NBC. Showmax Entertainment Mobile offers the same content as Showmax Entertainment but is exclusively available on mobile devices. Showmax Premier League will exclusively broadcast matches, but only on mobile devices. As the name suggests, it will focus solely on Premier League games, unlike the now-discontinued Showmax Pro, which aired games from major football leagues in Europe.

A plan for premier league matches appears to appeal to ex-Showmax Pro customers who may want to migrate to DStv Stream as Showmax had suggested before ending support for Pro. DStv Stream,  previously known as DStv Now, is currently accessible in ten African markets: South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Botswana, Namibia, Ghana, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Existing Showmax limitations will be carried forward 

Based on new information from Showmax, the platform has not improved the quality of its streams. For example, Showmax Entertainment will be capped at HD quality, which is relatively low in a market where competitors like Netflix offer content in 4K and in high dynamic range (HDR). The mobile plans will be limited to standard quality, which is lower than HD in picture quality.

That’s not all: Showmax 2.0 has not increased the number of screens on which people can view content. The existing platform limits concurrent streams to two screens, which remains unchanged for Showmax Entertainment. The other two mobile plans will be limited to one screen. Showmax has never explained this limitation, especially when its rival Netflix allows customers to stream on up to four devices simultaneously.

Showmax’s numbers in Africa indicate it is quite popular, with 1.8 million subscribers as of 2022. Netflix launched in the continent in 2016 and is second with 1.2 million subscribers. The majority of customers, 73.3%, are based in South Africa, which is Showmax’s home market. Both platforms continue to invest heavily in Africa; while Netflix’s subscription numbers are plateauing in Western markets and want to recoup them in emerging markets, Showmax aims to strengthen its position in Africa with an investment of up to $1 billion dedicated to original shows and market expansion.

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