PCCW Ltd., controlled by Hong Kong billionaire Richard Li, will offer a video-on-demand service for South Africa that would compete with Netflix Inc. and Naspers Ltd.’s ShowMax.
The service, called OnTAPtv, will include content provided by partners including the British Broadcasting Corp, Warner Bros Entertainment Inc. and MGM Holdings Inc., Lindsay Scott Servian, PCCW’s vice president for business development, told reporters in Johannesburg on Wednesday.
Streaming services are targeting Africa as wireless networks become more widespread and reliable, allowing the delivery of video in a region where landlines are scarce. Telecommunications conglomerate PCCW bought a majority stake in mobile video-on-demand service Vuclip in March and is expanding the service into new markets, including Africa.
“We’ve spent an enormous amount of money building the platform,” Marc Halbfinger, chief executive officer of PCCW Global, said at the presentation. “We have a very long time line on what success will be. We do intend to invest a great deal in this product.”
OnTAPtv is specifically designed for smartphones and will receive data from U.K. provider AlwaysON Ltd., Servian said.
Cape Town-based Naspers started its ShowMax service in August, while Netflix is seeking to expand into as many as 200 markets, including Africa, by the end of next year.