Pay TV

“Administration Application Will Have No Impact On Kwese Free TV Launch” –Econet CEO

Econet Media’s CEO, Joseph Hundah, in an interview with TechCentral last week said that the decision to place Econet Media’s pay-TV business into administration would have “no impact” on the planned rollout of Kwese Free TV in South Africa.

He noted that the two businesses are “separate”.
Hundah explained that the voluntary administration is related only to the DTH (direct to home) satellite business, which Econet Media intends to cease altogether.

Recent media reports had revealed that the business had accumulated more than US$130-million in external liabilities and was no longer able to pay its suppliers before it was placed into administration earlier last week. Ernst & Young have been hired to try to salvage the business.

Hundah emphasised that Kwese Free TV, which is the first broadcaster to be licensed by South Africa’s communications regulator ICASA to offer terrestrial television in South Africa in more than twenty years — is unaffected by the latest developments.

The Kwese Free TV rollout is subject to South Africa’s migration of analogue to digital television. ICASA gave Kwese a 24 month period to launch its service — until March 2021.

The company has said that it will start with a high-definition sports channel but also plans to launch four standard-definition channels.

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