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Internal memo confirms Showmax to merge with DStv

Internal memo confirms Showmax to merge with DStv

An internal memo has confirmed Naspers is to merge on-demand TV streaming platform Showmax Africa with DStv Digital Media as it looks to "create greater synergy".

ITWeb Africa has already reported on rumours of a merger between DStv and Showmax, which launched in 36 African markets last year and has since expanded to Europe.

The company's head of communications Richard Boorman had previously said that though Naspers was looking at opportunities for DStv and Showmax to work more closely on digital entertainment products, there were "no specific details to share at this point".

However, ITWeb Africa has seen an internal memo emailed to staff by Imtiaz Patel, CEO of Video Entertainment at Naspers, in which he makes it clear Showmax Africa and DStv Digital Media are to be merged into one division.

Patel said the world of digital entertainment is changing, as is the way customers watch content.

"In the past few years, we launched DStv Now and later Showmax to embrace this new world. Each of these services have enjoyed some level of success in meeting customer entertainment needs," he said.

Patel said the time had now come for Naspers to align these two services more closely to create an even better entertainment experience for its customers and to truly innovate in the space.

"This is an opportunity for us to truly leverage the skills and capabilities we have built in these two teams, and create greater synergy," he said.

For this reason, Naspers will be bringing Showmax Africa and DStv Digital Media together in Africa to create a new Digital division, for which a final name is yet to be decided. This new division will report directly to Patel as part of the company's new FutureFit structure.

Chief Executive Officer of Multichoice South Africa Mark Rayner will oversee the transition while Naspers searches for an appropriate person to head the division. Graeme Cumming, GM for DStv Digital Media, and Chris Savides, Showmax Head of Africa, will continue in their roles.

"For now, all DDM and Showmax Africa employees will fall under one area reporting into Mark. We'll then, as part of FutureFit, review how this division should be structured to fulfill our digital ambitions," Patel said.

In the rest of the world, Showmax will continue to operate independently under the leadership of John Katsaftis.

"I want to thank John and his team for everything they have done to date to take Showmax to where it is today. I trust that Mark and the new Digital team will help us to succeed in a digital future," Patel said.

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