Kwese's Satellite-TV Shuts Down After 18 Months
Econet Media announced that after a business strategy review, it has decided to streamline its direct-to-home satellite television service and will now focus on three core services, namely Kwese Iflix, Kwese Free Sports (KFS) and Kwese Play. The plan is to remove general entertainment channels, and Kwese branded sports (excluding KFS) and also to reduce third-party channels on the satellite bouquet.
The broadcaster's new bundle will carry religious, FTA and free news channels, which will be available at a minimal fee, but that it will now waive monthly subscription fees. Kwese subscribers who had already paid their subscriptions for November, or in advance, will be receiving a full refund of that payment.
KFS prides itself in being Africa's largest free-to-air TV service, Kwese Iflix is a mobile Video on Demand entertainment and sports platform, and Kwese Play is the video streaming component with more than 200 entertainment, sports, children's and news channels including NBA, Red Bull TV, YouTube, Bloomberg and TED.
Econet Media will also operate its own content creation hub, Kwese Studios, through which it will invest in developing new and original programming and provide a stage for African producers, actors, scriptwriters and directors to tell unique African stories on a pan-African broadcast network.
Kwese was launched at a time when the global pay television sector was in transition. Business models were transforming from what had been the traditional content rights linked to linear broadcast channels, to premium content rights that were moving towards digital media platforms.
Kwese aired the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia in Africa through a network of 115 sub-licence broadcasters in 37 countries to more than 200 million households, acquired a controlling stake in a mobile VoD service, has a satellite TV business present in eleven markets, a free-to-air industry in 27 countries, launched its own OTT service, Kwese Play. The company has also secured significant sports rights and general entertainment channels.