On March 27th, a day after introducing them in South Africa, Showmax started offering subscribers in Kenya live news services from several international channels.
The live news channels, comprising CNN International, BBC World News, Al Jazeera, Sky News, Euronews and Newszroom Africa, have been directly accessible from the streaming service’s landing page on the web, mobile apps, TVs and the other platforms where Showmax is available.
With many people forced to shelter in place thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, Showmax offered the live news channels as a way for its subscribers to keep tabs on the goings-on in the world and not miss critical information.
However, with the easing of lockdown restrictions in various countries in Sub-Saharan Africa as well as in other parts of the world, some sort of “normalcy” to operations that had been disrupted or altered by the pandemic is returning. Live sports, for instance, are back on our TV screens, albeit without the usual pomp and atmosphere as a result of having fans live in the stadium and Showmax has aired some of the football matches.
In what is a clear sign that it is also marching towards some sort of normalcy itself (not only had the streaming service introduced live news channels for subscribers to keep up with the news, it had also lowered the streaming quality to ease pressure on networks since many subscribers staying at home were overwhelming service providers with their traffic), Showmax yesterday sent a message to subscribers that reads as follows:
We were given access to these channels as a temporary measure in the early days of the COVID-19 crisis in order to help everyone keep up-to-date on the latest developments.
As lockdown is now easing and slowly we’re getting back to some kind of new normal, we’re going to be discontinuing the news service. We’ll, of course, keep an eye on developments and if the circumstances change we’ll do our best to step in again and play our part.
The message goes on to inform subscribers that today, June 30th, is the last day that they will be able to access live news channel on Showmax.