This week, Showmax shared the content slate for Showmax, its soon-to-be relaunched streaming service. TechCabal got early access to the streaming platform, which will officially launch on February 12.

After a couple of days of looking under the hood and tinkering with the new Showmax, here’s what we like and think could be better.

SPOILER ALERT: It’s impressive!

What we like

The user interface of the new Showmax is sleek, unlike the original Showmax, which was somewhat clunky. Searching for titles on the homepage is straightforward, and the titles are sorted into categories like “Top 20”, “Recent releases” and “Best of Rotten Tomatoes.”  Users can also watch content from Universal, Warner Bros and HBO.

One of the main issues that many users of DStv, the satellite TV service offered by Showmax’s parent company MultiChoice, had was the bundling of sports channels into the overall subscription fee. The new Showmax lets users subscribe either for a Premier League-only mobile package or a bundle of the PL and entertainment content, which is also only available on mobile.


The other thing we like is the sheer volume of content. With parent company MultiChoice’s expansive content library, Showmax never had a content problem, but it is still doubling down on providing new offerings.

On the revamped platform, Showmax will increase its African originals by 150%, or 1,300 hours, while its partnership with Comcast’s NBCUniversal and Sky means access to international classics from those two behemoths. 

It was great seeing series like The Sopranos and The Wire on the platform, which are unavailable on Netflix. Additionally, Showmax already has hugely popular reality shows, including Big Brother Naija and Real Housewives of Lagos, which will add to the already expanded content slate of Showmax 2.0.

And now to the price point. Showmax’s premium plan, which includes a bundle of entertainment on all devices and the EPL on mobile, costs $8 across the “rest of Africa” markets. In South Africa, Kenya, and Nigeria, the price goes as low as $5, which is an attractive offer. 

For comparison, Netflix’s standard plans with ads cost a minimum of $7 across most African markets. Additionally, MultiChoice’s Moment payment gateway gives customers access to various payment channels, including banks, mobile money providers, and retailers.

What we think could be better on the new Showmax

As much as this author loves the PL (COME ON YOU GUNNERS!), Showmax’s sports offering is limited in that only the PL is available. What about La Liga, PSL, Serie A and other sports leagues like the NBA and IPL cricket league? 

Another limitation is that the majority of Showmax 2.0’s launch plans are limited to mobile. Only the entertainment bundle will be available for all devices. I don’t know about you guys, but I’m not a big fan of watching football games on my phone.

Another thing that caught my eye is the lack of 4K quality on all the available launch plans. When MultiChoice announced that the new Showmax would be hosted on the Peacock platform, I assumed it would mean all the niceties that come with Peacock. But it looks like users will have to wait a bit longer because the highest streaming quality available now is 1080p and HD for a selected number of movies.

Also, despite Showmax 2.0 having content from its NBCUniversal and Sky parent companies, not all titles from these broadcasters are available. I was looking forward to seeing The Office, for which NBCUniversal paid $500 million for licensing rights in 2019. To my disappointment, it was not available on the new Showmax. Showmax has stated that some movies and shows will gradually be added, so let’s hope that will happen sooner rather than later.

After trying out the new Showmax, it’s an improvement on the streaming platform’s previous iteration. Of course there are some annoyances, as we mentioned, but there are also nice features which make up for those. The big question is whether this new platform can build up on the momentum made on Netflix. For that, we say let the customers decide when they finally get access to Showmax on February 12.

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