MTN in talks to stream TV

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MTNStore1 REUTERS File picture: Siphiwe Sibeko

Johannesburg - MTN Group, Africa’s largest wireless operator, was in discussions with an Asian-based content provider to offer South Africans access to streaming movies and television shows.

The negotiations could result in a deal this year, said one of the people, who asked not to be named because the matter was private.

The source added that the two parties had yet to decide a commercial model for the partnership.

The deal would give MTN’s 25 million mobile customers in South Africa access to movies and TV shows as the company seeks an edge.

MTN and its competitors are exploring ways to get tablet and smartphone subscribers to use more higher-margin data services as voice revenue slides.

“While we don’t comment on market speculation, MTN continues to pursue suitable opportunities to expand product offerings outside of traditional voice and to increase its presence in the digital space,” it said in a statement.

MTN said last week that data revenue rose 43 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier, representing 17 percent of sales across its 22 countries in Africa and the Middle East.

Vodacom discussed a content deal with Naspers’s MultiChoice broadcast unit last year.

MTN shares rose 0.96 percent to close at R210.20 on Friday. – Bloomberg

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