PCCW to launch VOD service in South Africa


Rebecca Hawkes

| 12 September 2015

Hong Kong’s PCCW has confirmed its international operating division will launch a video-on-demand (VOD) service for South Africa to compete with Nasper’s recently launched ShowMax.

The service will complement PCCW’s connectivity services in Africa, and more information will be provided at a press conference in Johannesburg next week, the company said in a statement.

PCCW Global already manages satellite capacity over Africa and provides access to multiple cable landing stations, providing fibre connectivity to 40 African countries.

By entering the VOD space, the Richard Li-controlled telco will take on the recently launched ShowMax service, which delivers a range of international and local TV shows and films across multiple connected devices for ZAR 99 a month. Netflix also plans to launch in South Africa before the end of 2016.

South Africa has been plagued with unreliable broadband connectivity, however companies such as Naspers and PCCW are getting ready for Internet improvements and a subsequent a growth in the country’s appetite for VOD.

This month Telkom SA unveiled plans to connect one million South African homes with fibre which, says ShowMax spokesperson Richard Boorman, “is exactly the kind of development that will spur a change in viewing habits and a move to on-demand viewing”.

PCCW, which operates IPTV service nowTV in Hong Kong, bought a majority stake in mobile VOD service Vuclip in March. The company includes Africa in its expansion plans and currently operates in six countries in Asia and the Middle East.