MultiChoice banks on World Cup, Showmax to grow subscribers

MultiChoice, the parent company of satellite television service provider DStv, expects to see a return on investment it made toward the upcoming Fifa World Cup, it said on Thursday.

The company, in its interim results, said it had spent R700-million in decoders ahead of the upcoming soccer World Cup to be held in Qatar from Sunday next week.

“The group’s earnings and cash flows for the interim period were adversely impacted by an outsized investment in decoders ahead of the upcoming 2022 Fifa World Cup,” the company said it its results presentation.

“This investment supports the anticipated subscriber growth opportunity around the Fifa World Cup while at the same time mitigating the growing risk of supply chain disruptions from global silicon chip shortages.”

The group had 9.1-million subscribers in South Africa at the end of Septembers and a further 13-million on the rest of its operations on the continent.

The company’s six months to September results show its domestic market registered a 2% decrease in revenues to R17.4-billion “due to a weaker-than-normal first quarter, when the impact of the football off-season was exacerbated by an extremely challenging consumer climate”.

MultiChoice’s rest of Africa operations fared better in the reporting period, with revenues of R10.5-billion, an increase of 28%. Its total revenues went up R1.8-billion to R28.6-billion.

“Despite the challenging macroeconomic environment, we are well-positioned given our exciting content slate. In the second half of the financial year, a core focus will be the broadcasting of the 2022 Fifa World Cup and producing more local content that resonates with our customers,” said MultiChoice CEO Calvo Mawela.

Mawela added that the company is looking to grow its online offering and further scale its Showmax paying subscriber base, supported by the recent launch of the Streama, the introduction of more bundled services and competitive pricing.

MultiChoice, which unbundled from Naspers in 2019, has a market value of R53-billion on the JSE, making it one of the largest securities on the bourse.

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