Cell C shutting down OTT service Black

In an SMS sent to Black users, the company stated that the service will close on 31 December 2019.

This follows a “review of our product portfolio”, said Cell C. It also provided users with a voucher code which gives them 3 months of Showmax for free. One Black user stated that the move was “disappointing if you are on a Media Play contract” and now no longer receive the streaming subscription and streaming data.

Cell C launched Black in November 2017 and presented it as the future of entertainment. “It will not be necessary to wait 9 months before watching the latest movies in South Africa,” Cell C’s former CEO Jose Dos Santos said at the launch.

In recent months, however, Black’s future has seemed uncertain. According to My Broadband, Cell C had stopped investing in the Black platform, which included freezing the development of its Web and mobile applications.

In September, Cell C suspended the linear channels on Black and began negotiations with the content providers. Later in the month, Douglas Craigie Stevenson, CEO of Cell C, said Cell C’s investment in Black was not a good thing.

“Black was not the right play for Cell C. We did not have the resources to compete in that environment.” said Craigie Stevenson.