According to media reports, Showmax has started streaming HBO’s hit Game of Thrones spinoff House of the Dragon in several African countries, while South Africans have nowhere to watch the show other than DStv Premium.
The MultiChoice-owned streaming platform put the first episode of House of the Dragon on Showmax in Ghana, Kenya, and Nigeria on 24 August 2022, two days after it premiered on DStv.
However, South Africans can only watch it on DStv Premium via a decoder or online streaming.
Several South African Showmax subscribers have complained about its absence from the service. With one Twitter user claiming that the company had put up a billboard advertising the series would be available on Showmax from 26 August 2022.
In response, Showmax said the show would only be available in South Africa “by the end of the year, with the exact date still to be announced”.
The streaming service explained that the series was not available on Showmax in South Africa due to “licencing agreements”.
According to BMA sources, MultiChoice had paid for broadcasting rights for House of the Dragon in South Africa, but not streaming rights.
Data from the Broadcasting Research Council of South Africa (BRCSA) revealed that the show performed poorly on its DStv broadcast debut, drawing only a few thousand viewers.
By comparison, linear broadcasts of the premiere in the UK and US drew millions of viewers.