Showmax Pro is now available in South Africa following a mailer earlier this morning that let the cat out of the bag.

We can confirm availability ourselves as the Showmax website is now allowing us to select our subscription tier.

Both Showmax Pro and Showmax Pro Mobile are now available with prices currently at R449 per month and R225 per month respectively.

After recovering from the shock of seeing that figure we were curious to see how DStv Compact Plus (which costs R489 per month for 24 months) stacked up, to determine whether the streaming service was offering something of value here, pricey as it may be.

Sports

The DStv package offers eight sporting channels which is fine so long as you know what SuperSport 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 contain, and you are aware that the lineup of channels will change come 1st September.

Showmax Pro meanwhile states explicitly what sport you can expect with a promise of “more”

The full sport offering as stated by Showmax is:

  • Football: English Premier League, LaLiga, Serie A, UEFA Champions League, FA Cup, Premier Soccer League and more
  • Athletics: Diamond League, World Challenge League and more
  • Running: Berlin, Boston, London, NYC, Soweto Marathons and more
  • Boxing: Selected IBF, WBA, WBO, WBC and African Boxing events
  • Other: Swimming, Extreme Sports, esports, Basketball, Triathlon, Horse Racing, EFC, Netball, Hockey, and much more

This offering however is subject to licensing agreements so it may change.

South African favourites rugby and cricket are noticeably absent from this offering. While we suspect that more sport will head to Showmax Pro in the future, for now there its football, running and esports if you haven’t heard of Twitch.

News

In addition to sport, Showmax Pro will now also include 24 hour news. As of time of writing we aren’t sure which channels are included but will update this story as soon as we have more information.

DStv Compact Plus includes the following news and commerce channels:

  • Sky News
  • CNN
  • eNCA
  • RT
  • BBC World News
  • Newzroom Afrika
  • Aljazeera
  • Parliament TV
  • CGTN
  • CNBC Africa
  • Business Day TV
  • NDTV 24×7

Entertainment

Looking at entertainment, documentaries and other programming, DStv Compact Plus offers up “115+” channels.

As you are no doubt well aware, the programming on these channels is pre-programmed and you are the mercy of the TV guide.

Channels include Mzansi Magic, One Magic, TLC, MTV, BBC Lifestyle and many others.

Showmax has far more.

We can’t even begin to list the multitude of programming Showmax offers. Movies, documentaries, series, stand up comedy, local programming, there is legitimately too much to mention here.

There’s also new content being added to Showmax constantly.

Missed HBO’s Watchmen? It’s on Showmax. Want to watch the latest season of Love Island? It’s on Showmax.

Insofar as entertainment is concerned, we strongly believe Showmax has the best offering.

Is Showmax Pro worth it?

For folks who want to watch football and a few other sports that aren’t rugby or cricket and also want some live news to tune into now and then, we can see the value here.

At R449 per month though, it is hard to justify that cost.

While the live news is a nice touch, in a COVID-19 world, most news is easily accessible online. Government’s meetings are available on YouTube and most important press conferences are streamed live for free anyway. Getting news is really not that tough and the draw of 24-hour news may only appeal to some.

The real draw here is the sport offering, limited as it may be, you won’t have to jump through hoops to get your football fix.

It’s also worth noting that we haven’t mentioned the cost of installation for DStv or the internet access costs associated with accessing Showmax.

While installation is a chore, over time it might end up being cheaper than the cost of a monthly internet subscription.

To compare the two we recommend using Showmax’s Bandwidth Calculator which will give you an estimate of how much data you could use on average. We suggest over estimating.

As always it comes down to whether Showmax Pro caters to your needs. We feel it’s a bit too pricey although with all the loadshedding about, perhaps R225 for a mobile subscription to Showmax Pro Mobile isn’t a bad idea.