Econet extends Kwesé Free Sports to Zimbabwe, partners ZBC to show English Football & the Olympics on ZTV


If you are a fan of English Premier League Football and/or are following the Rio Olympics 2016, you can consider ZBC as a free option for catching all this entertainment.

Econet Media’s new Free to Air channel Kwesé Free Sports has been extended beyond Kenya through a partnership with the ZBC.

The local broadcaster received through Kwesé Free Sports, the sub-licence to exclusively broadcast on ZTV up to 6 hours of content from the Olympics including live coverage as well as some delayed footage.


This deal also includes the screening of one live English Premier League match every Saturday. This is supposed to be the first of many deals between Kwesé TV and ZBC.

Other than the fact that Econet Media, a subsidiary of the Econet Group, is partnering with a State entity, Kwesé’s deal with ZBC shouldn’t be all that surprising.

It comes after Kwesé’s play for the Kenyan market through another Direct to TV (DTT) arrangement. This pointed the need for a tie-up with a partner that would allow Econet Media to fulfil its broadcasting obligations of delivering content to markets that it has rights to.

A marriage with ZBC follows the same pattern, ensuring that as the new season for the English Premier League kicks off, Kwesé is beaming this content in our market.

Just like Kenya, this also raises some questions around the ease of launching an internet TV service. Are issues like regulatory approval as well as the challenges of delivering a large amount of content taped to the ridiculous data costs affecting Kwesé’s debut?

Locally Econet seemed ready to resolve the data issue with zero rated Kwesé TV bundles but the termination suspension of bonus and promos has affected that strategy. 

This would suggest the need to partner with the one broadcaster that still has the widest reach in Zimbabwe, something that just means that content like English Football and the Olympics has made it to Zimbabwe.

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