Showmax Launches Live Streaming with SNL Polska


For the premiere of Saturday Night Live Polska on Showmax—which marks the NBCU format’s first adaptation in CEE—the VOD service added live-streaming capabilities to its platform.

SNL Polska is presented by Piotr Adamczyk and comprises a cast of 11 well-known actors performing skits in the traditional style of Saturday Night Live. The show streamed live simultaneously on YouTube and on the Showmax website on December 2 at 9 p.m. It was then uploaded to Showmax for on-demand viewing.

Akash Bhatia, Showmax’s chief financial officer and member of the project team, commented: “As an American, I grew up on SNL—it’s become part of our cultural identity. Working with NBCUniversal and the Showmax Poland team to bring the format to Central Europe was a privilege but also brought an extra layer of anxiety. The show is of course famous for airing live, which is something Showmax had never done before.

“Our engineering team pulled off a massive coup, turning Showmax from an on-demand-only platform to having live-streaming capability in just three months. In addition to all the late nights and weekends worked to get us to this point, the engineering team had a fully staffed war room working through the night on Saturday to make sure everything ran smoothly.

“As the world increasingly moves to on-demand viewing and binge-watching, it’s refreshing to do a live show and it’s going to be interesting to see how the numbers pan out between live and recorded views. Either way, this is an important milestone for Showmax as we can now look to apply the live-streaming capability to other events.”