Another international company leaves South Africa


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After a series of high-profile exits from South Africa in recent months—including Shell, BNP Paribas and Rolex—international streaming service BritBox is reportedly next to leave the country.

First reported by prominent and independent TV writer, Thinus Ferreira, and then confirmed to MyBroadband, the streaming service is wrapping up and leaving the country in August 2024, just three years after launch.

The service was joint venture between BBC Studios and ITV, before the former bought out the latter in a $322 million deal in February, according to Deadline. The group achieved about 3.8 million subscriptions internationally.

The service was launched in South Africa in August 2021. BritBox SA did not respond to requests for comment by publication.

The extent of BritBox’s operations in South Africa is uncertain, with the group previously saying it does not share regional subscriber numbers. However, it hailed its entry into the domestic market and first year of operation as a success.


BritBox joins Rolex, Shell and BNP Paribas this year to make a move away from South Africa – and these are just a few of the big companies that have abandoned it in the country lately.

Prior to BritBox, Rolex confirmed that it had closed its affiliated office in Sandton, Johannesburg, because the local markets and conjuncture had changed, no longer justifying the presence of an official Rolex affiliate.

Shell, meanwhile, plans to sell its downstream business in South Africa, which includes 600 petrol stations in the country, as part of a broader restructuring. However, the group will still run its upstream business across the country.

BNP Paribas, the sixth largest bank in the world, no longer conducts the business of a bank via a branch in South Africa. The French bank’s exit is also due to a restructuring. This leaves non-core operations in Africa to focus on Europe and Asia.


South Africa has a competitive streaming market where international players such as Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime and Apple TV are up against an established media giant such as Multichoice’s DStv and Showmax.

Showmax, which already operates in 50 African countries, relaunched its service in January with Comcast’s support and technology.

Comparing viewing figures between the streamers is challenging, as most remain chubby about their local numbers.

DStv is different, with MultiChoice reporting for the six months ended 30 September 2023 that its South African customers were down 5% at 8,6 million.

Analysis and estimates from JustWatch place Netflix at the top in South Africa when it comes to streaming video on demand (SVOD), with 30% of the South African market share, followed by Amazon Prime Video (27%) and Showmax (25%).

However, it should be noted that these figures are not from the company’s, with membership numbers of subscribers a carefully kept secret in the SVOD space.

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