MultiChoice will report a full-year headline loss per share of as much as R3.90, from earnings of R4.10 a year ago, as the result of foreign exchange losses and a decision to give additional equity to black investors at no cost.
Newzroom Afrika, the new 24-hour new channel licensed by MultiChoice that replaces the defunct, formerly Gupta-owned ANN7, will be launched on DStv on Thursday.
Ahead of its unbundling from parent Naspers and separate listing on the JSE, the bear case for MultiChoice is fairly well understood by the market. The reality, as always, is a lot more nuanced.
MultiChoice will carry losses incurred by Showmax in the “medium term”, but the goal is eventually for the streaming television service to turn a profit once broadband infrastructure in South Africa and the rest of the continent has been built out further to support it.
Streaming services pose a significant threat to MultiChoice’s future growth potential, but they are by no means the only risks exercising the minds of the pay-television operator’s management team.