ICASA Approves Kwesé Free TV Licence In South Africa
South Africa’s media and communications watchdog ICASA has confirmed that it will be granting a commercial free-to-air TV licence to Kwesé Free TV.
The regulator said that Kwesé Free TV’s proposed service was fully compliant with the relevant South African laws and had met a significant market need.
Kwesé also secured a radio frequency spectrum licence providing it with a generous 55% of the country’s third digital multiplex.
The granting of the licence paves the path for Kwesé to offer a bouquet of channels offering general entertainment content and sports. Kwese has proposed the launch of five channels: Kwesé Vibes, Kwesé Free Sports HD, Kwesé Focus, Kwesé Brave and Kwesé Drama.
The licence was awarded to Kwesé Free TV despite the collapse of Kwesé TV, the satellite TV service that was owned by Econet Media, one of Kwesé Free TV JV’s partners. The Zimbabwe-based company shut down in August, with Econet Media blaming Zimbabwe’s economic conditions and the difficulty in getting foreign currency to pay suppliers.
Econet South Africa owns 20% of Kwesé Free TV, with Royal Bafokeng Metix holding a 45% stake and Mosong Equities owning 35%.
ICASA had received five applications for the third multiplex frequencies: Tshwaranang Media, Kwesé, Infinity Media Networks, Laedza TV and Free To Air TV.