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Econet partners TiVo to bring live TV recording to Kwesé TV, furrows deeper into linear TV

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Pan-African telecoms company Econet Wireless Group, through its media subsidiary Econet Media, has just announced that it has partnered with Cubiware, a Poland-based provider of software for Digital TV devices and systems.

Cubiware might not be a household name but its parent company TiVo Corporation is a major player in the pay TV space that built a reputation particularly in the USA by introducing live TV recording through its set-top boxes.

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TiVo is a giant in the distribution of digital video recorder hardware, specifically its TiVos which are PVR-like decoders that provide pay TV subscribers a host of options through interactive TV.

The partnership between Econet and Cubiware is expected to bring similar solutions to Econet’s Kwesé TV. 

Cubiware is expected to work with leading set-top box vendors to deliver the latest version of its CubiTV software that is designed for hybrid satellite and IP deployment which Kwesé TV has been primed for.

This will give subscribers access to on-demand content through PushVOD functionality, or the ability to record live TV for viewing at a later time.

It will pretty much mean that Kwesé TV subscribers will have access to PVR functionalities like pausing TV and even lining up content such as series for catch-up viewing.

On one hand, Econet’s plans here seem pretty straightforward. Kwesé TV will be adopting features that MultiChoice has reserved for its premium subscriber base and it will be extending them to all its users across Africa. 

In one sweep it plays catch up with the market leader and it also signs on a capable interactive TV technology partner.

On the other hand, this also appears, though not so clearly, to be another case of Econet Media doubling down on linear TV services.

It’s something that it had already started doing with the launch of Kwesé TV (or pieces of it) in markets like Kenya and also in Zimbabwe (this attempt failed, mostly because of “sovereignty” and ego issues).

Is Econet focusing on linear TV because mobile TV is not yet a bankable avenue in Africa?

Sure, this CubiTV  is for both satellite and IP TV, but when Kwesé TV was first unveiled and even in following pitches that ushered in its numerous content deals its sex appeal was clearly in the “TV on every African’s phone” spin.

Now, Econet is furrowing deeper into linear TV, an area where it will not have the unmatched advantages that Kwesé TV needs to take an effective shot at leaders like MultiChoice.

Then again, that’s neither here or there. For now, all we need to know is that whoever is catching that NBA game or that Formula 1 race on Kwesé TV can also pause and rewind the action. 


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4 thoughts on “Econet partners TiVo to bring live TV recording to Kwesé TV, furrows deeper into linear TV

  1. Tivo definitely change the fortunes of Virgin Media ugly cable tv boxes a while back. It used to be that when you are connected to the internet via the modem, then there is sudden high tv video intensity video, you internet will suddenly drop!
    Then come in tivo boxes, they did actually improved Virgin users experience!

    But how does it measure up with other TV providers, compared to Sky, its picture quality is horrible and jitters sometime, very purple and not that fluid.

    Coming back home, l have always suspected that DSTv explorer boxes are rebranded Tivo boxes. They have the usual purple colourish and not very fluid and the experience is not that great, especially when connected to large screen tv. They both will be broadcasting via satellite.

    This is where KweseTV can beat DStv, if they can install base stations in Zimbabwe, that will strengthen the signal and give users a better experience. l will be ready to test it.

  2. Usually am very skeptic with anything Econet. They are quick to introduce anything but to maintain the standards is another issue. I hate it when the service is oversubscribe and the then the quality is affected. Are they ready for that? Its obvious that MultiChoice has been favouring the South African White people who are given cheaper services as compared to other countries, this means that those who are not affording multichoice services will rush to KweseTV.

    They should not give us poor quality services PLEAAAASE

  3. Kwese TV this, Kwese TV that. Now the NFL season has already started but we can’t even watch anything. The Kwese Now app does not work and they can’t even offer us a stream from the website. Kwese? More like Kupi.

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