MTN in discussions to buy MultiChoice Africa – Sources
19 May 2017
Industry sources have told MyBroadband that MTN is in discussions regarding a potential acquisition of MultiChoice Africa.
MultiChoice Africa provides video entertainment for subscribers in 49 African countries and Indian Ocean islands.
MultiChoice Africa was founded in 1996 and offers numerous entertainment services, including DStv, Box Office, Catch Up, DStv Now, and AMGO.
The company is based in Dubai and currently provides TV services to almost five million customers.
MTN has punted the idea of a diversified revenue stream through digital and entertainment services in recent years, and as part of this play it appointed its former head of strategy, Stephen van Coller, as the new head of digital.
MTN is already in discussions with MultiChoice about providing TV entertainment on smartphones, and according to sources, the network operator is now in talks to acquire MultiChoice Africa from Naspers.
It will not come as a surprise if Naspers offloads its pay-TV operations in Africa.
Naspers has a strong focus on investing in technology and Internet companies, which was illustrated by its recent decision to open an office in San Francisco. The decision was made to “sharpen the focus” of its “Naspers Ventures” division.
Traditional pay-TV services, like DStv, are under pressure from online streaming services like Netflix and ShowMax. This means that a big Internet player like Naspers may want to exit MultiChoice Africa, which relies on a more traditional business model.
MyBroadband asked MTN about the discussions, but the company said it cannot comment on market speculation. MultiChoice and Naspers sidestepped the question on the potential sale, and instead confirmed it is in discussions regarding a content supply agreement with MTN.