Econet Media refocuses its digital business

ECONET Media says it has reviewed its business strategy and service offerings to align them with the changes in the global digital and satellite broadcasting sector as well as growth in access to mobile and fixed broadband on the continent.

BY Staff Reporter

In a statement, the company said the strategy review will see the multi-platform broadcast network focusing on three core services – Kwesé Free Sports (KFS), Kwesé iflix and Kwesé Play.

“KFS is Africa’s largest free-to-air TV service, Kwesé iflix is Africa’s leading mobile video-on-demand sports and entertainment platform while Kwesé Play is a leading-edge video streaming service with more than 200 sports, entertainment, kids and news channels including Red Bull TV, NBA, YouTube, TED and Bloomberg,” the company said.

“With increased focus on these three services, Econet Media will streamline its direct-to-home satellite television service. This will see the reduction of third-party channels available on the bouquet, as well as the removal of Kwesé branded sports (excluding KFS) and general entertainment channels.”

The broadcaster’s new bouquet will carry FTA, religious and free news channels which will be available to viewers for a minimal fee, as the company will waive monthly subscription fees.

“Kwesé subscribers, who have already paid their subscriptions for the month of November, or in advance, will receive a full refund,” the company said.

“Kwesé was launched at a time when the global pay television industry was in transition. Business models were evolving from traditional content rights linked to linear broadcast channels, to premium content rights moving towards digital media platforms.”

The statement added: “Having recognised the importance of carrying original local content, Econet Media will also establish its own content creation hub, Kwesé Studios. Through Kwesé Studios, Econet Media will invest in developing its own original programming and provide a platform for African producers, script writers, actors and directors to tell authentic African stories on a pan-African broadcast network.”

Joe Hundah, chief executive of Econet Media, said the business’ repositioning was perfectly timed in response to market trends.

“We believe these changes will safeguard the future success of our business as we continue to make an indelible impact on Africa’s media industry,” Hundah said.

“The revised business strategy will also ensure that Kwesé TV continues to remain competitive within the industry. Refocusing our business offering across markets, is a strategic move which aligns our business to OTT and video-on-demand trends which present significant growth opportunities for Kwesé.
This renewed focus on digital services will see us providing new compelling offers for our customer’s enjoyment.”

“Additionally, through the development of the Kwesé Studios content hub, Econet Media will now have a legitimate claim to being the home of African content, as we will now create a place where Africans can tell their own stories and shape their own narrative.”

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