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Naspers' internet TV service ShowMax launching in Poland

Naspers' internet TV service ShowMax launching in Poland

Naspers' internet TV service ShowMax, launched in South Africa and since expanded to more than 60 countries, is growing its global footprint with a launch in Poland.

The new service will be branded ShowMax and utilise the current ShowMax platform and Polish language apps.

The content on the service has been tailored specifically for Poland with a strong focus on local TV shows and movies. ShowMax has also acquired exclusive rights to a range of popular local shows, as well as a catalogue of movies by Polish directors.

"This is a big deal for us, especially coming just 18 months after we launched ShowMax. With more than seven million people paying for online video in Poland and an overall population of more than 38 million, this is an exciting market," said ShowMax Chief Executive Officer John Kotsaftis.

"The key to success, however, is catering for local needs. To deliver on this and be close to the market, we chose to set up operations in Warsaw, headed up by a respected Polish pay-TV and internet TV pioneer. This team is aggressively developing a strong portfolio of local content including commissioning original productions."

Former Google executive Maciej Sojka, who ran YouTube partnerships for Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa, has been hired to set up and run ShowMax Poland.

"Poland is an interesting market in that local content features heavily on pirate sites, with many of these sites actually charging for access. In fact, pirate sites account for a significant portion of all online video revenue. This tells us there's a ready appetite to pay for a truly Polish service with content that excites and entertains people," said Kotsaftis.

"I think the key difference in our approach to original productions is we're looking hyper-local. We're not trying to compete with prohibitively expensive shows designed to appeal to audiences worldwide. Instead we think there's strong demand for local content that only works at the local level."

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