Naspers reportedly working on Netflix competitor

It’s no secret that many connected South Africans have forgone traditional TV for Netflix, despite the fact that the on-demand video service doesn’t officially operate in the country.

Now though, it seems that emerging markets internet and media giant Naspers is preparing to fight back.

The launch, which could take place as early as next week, would signal an acknowledgement by the multi-billion dollar conglomerate that it needs to move beyond its existing PayTV offerings.

Through its subsidiary Multichoice, Naspers runs the DStv and GOtv satellite offerings.

Read more: Netflix seems to be clamping down on overseas VPN users

It is believed that the service is tied to a press invitation received by members of the media late last week.

According to the invitation, the launch will take place on 19 August, in Johannesburg.


There is however reason to believe that the South African rollout is part of a much wider international operation.

The service is believed to have been in the works for months now, and is the result of at least one strategic acquisition on Naspers’ part.

Read more: Netflix prepares for global expansion [Update: it’s coming to South Africa]

According to MyBroadband, the new service is closely linked with Naspers’ acquisition of Icflix, a UAE-based video-on-demand product, servicing a number of countries including Morocco, Egypt, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Tunisia, and Saudi Arabia.

The technology news site reports that much of the initial development was done within Multichoice but that Naspers later split it off and moved it offshore for a number of business reasons.

John Kotsaftis, who became the CEO of DStv Digital Media after the merger of DStv Online and DStv Mobile, will reportedly head up the Naspers VOD venture from Dubai.

Naspers’ hand may have been forced to a degree by Netflix announcing its own plans to launch in South Africa by the end of 2016.



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