SABC+ plans to give Netflix, Showmax a run for their money

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SABC group CEO Madoda Mxakwe said the public broadcaster has invested in local and new talent from last year to gear up for the launch of the streaming app.   Photo: Mlungisi Louw
SABC group CEO Madoda Mxakwe said the public broadcaster has invested in local and new talent from last year to gear up for the launch of the streaming app. Photo: Mlungisi Louw

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The SA Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has invested over R1 billion in the last fiscal year in content creation to level up in the streaming app space, which is currently dominated by Netflix and Showmax in the country.  

Speaking to City Press at the recent launch of the platform, SABC+, group chief executive officer of the SABC Madoda Mxakwe said the public broadcaster has invested in local and new talent from last year to gear up for the launch of the streaming app.  

He said: 

In the past months, we have been speeding up bringing in new products. In the past fiscal, we have spent just over a billion rand on new productions and you may have seen it on our free-to-air channels. We want to make sure that we can migrate those onto this platform. We are also trying to regionalise them.
 

"To expand accessibility and reach, we are going to various provinces where we want up-and-coming local productions to show us what they can do because at the heart of it, it is authentic African stories that express the attitudes of South Africans and that is what we want."

READ: The downfall of Netflix: not paying enough attention to content for black and brown people

SABC+ streaming app will also offer 19 radio stations and three free-to-air television channels SABC 1, SABC 2, and SABC 3, as well as the SABC sports channel and its 24-hour news channel.  

Mxakwe added: "We are going to have a fully fleshed entertainment channel, and the channel is going to incorporate a lot of entertainment genres. There will be movies, reality television shows, drama, docu-series and everything that you can think of."

He mentioned: 

I say this with utmost humility. No broadcaster in this country can rival the SABC when it comes to content. We have archives that date back to 85 years ago, so we want to create channels whether you talk about health, history or documentaries that we will showcase on this new platform.

This is in partnership with the global consumer electronics and home appliances maker, Hisense. Hisense has already started to distribute the SABC+ app through Hisense VIDAA Smart television sets and mobile devices. The partnership will bring 28 matches of the FIFA World Cup and the official FIFA World Cup show daily, at no cost to consumers.   

Mxakwe added SABC+ would also air archived content, including news shows, soccer matches, documentaries and soapies.  

"We want to bring in that nostalgic element that says, ‘do you remember this?’. We are the only guys that have that content and that is what we want to showcase because it is important for the public interest."  

The app, which is currently free for download to Hisense users, is available on Google Playstore for Android.


 

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