Most consumers might not be familiar with the name Naspers but this is the company that owns MultiChoice which then owns DStv, GOtv and Supersport. Naspers also owns ShowMax which is an on-demand premium video streaming service that recently launched in Africa. Naspers’ video entertainment business has not been doing so well thanks to new age competition in the likes of Netflix and other PayTV services who have been cannibalising the market across Africa.
The company, Naspers Group, has announced that is plans to unbundle MultiChoice and list it on Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE). The unbundled entity will be known as MultiChoice group and will have; MultiChoice South Africa Holdings, MultiChoice Africa Holdings, MultiChoice Botswana, MultiChoice Namibia, NMS Insurance Services SA, the African division of ShowMax, Irdeto Holdings and Irdeto South Africa, under it.
If South African authorities approve, MultiChoice Group will be listed on JSE in the first half of 2019, rendering Naspers free of the ghost of pay tv. “This marks a significant step for the Naspers Group as it continues its evolution into a global consumer Internet company,” Naspers said in a statement to shareholders.
Naspers claims that unbundling MultiChoice will create value for its shareholders. However, with consumers shifting to on-demand services and spending less on digital TV, this leaves Naspers in trouble, seeing that DStv and Supersport have been facing tough competition in a once monopoly environment.
On top of this, their on-demand offering, ShowMax, is also facing competition from global entities. With this in mind, it is then not surprising to receive news that Naspers is planning to call it quits and walk away to greener pastures.