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RIP Kwese TV: Kwese’s Satellite-TV Closing Down After 18 Months

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Kwesé TV remote

It seems Kwese TV (the satellite offering) is shutting down after a troublesome 18 months. Considering all the hard work Kwese invested to actually set up it’s a bit sad that they have failed to make a dent on the market.

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As of November 1, Kwese will only offer three services; Kwese Free Sports, Kwese iflix and Kwese Play. Those who had Kwese’s satellite service were surprised to wake up on the first of this month to see all their channels having disappeared.

Econet released the following press statement on that situation:

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Econet Media refocuses business towards a digital future

HARARE, 1 November 2018 – In order to maintain its position as a leader in broadcasting innovation in Africa, Econet Media has reviewed its business strategy and service offerings, to align them with the changes in the global digital and satellite broadcasting sector, and growth in access to mobile and fixed broadband on the continent.

The strategy review will see Africa’s leading multiplatform 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.

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 broadcaster 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.


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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.

Kwesé has built a satellite TV business with presence in 11 markets, a free-to-air business across 27 countries, delivered the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ across Africa to a network of 115 sub-license broadcasters across 37 countries – reaching over 200 million households, acquired a controlling stake in a leading mobile video-on-demand service, and launched its own OTT service Kwesé Play. The business has also managed to secure leading sports rights and general entertainment channels to build a compelling content offering across its platforms, making a significant shift in the continent’s complex and competitive media industry.

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.

These changes are in keeping with Kwesé’s commitment to providing affordable premium content, maintaining an innovative approach to content delivery and being attuned to audience viewing and purchasing habits.

As a consequence of the revised business model, Econet Media is reviewing its operational structures across all markets where Kwesé TV has presence which may result in changes to the company’s various business units.

Joe Hundah, Group President and Chief Executive of Econet Media, says the business’ repositioning is 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. 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.”

“Kwesé’s entry into the market had a game changing impact on the media industry. With these changes, we believe Kwesé will continue to positively disrupt the industry for the benefit of African consumers, as we continue to provide affordable premium content through digital media services.”

 

EconetKwese TV

Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, a subsidiary of Econet Wireless International, is the first and largest mobile network services provider in Zimbabwe. The telecoms giant became popular with its products and services such as Buddie. It has established branches in different corners of the country and enjoys... Read More About Econet

Kwese TV was a subscription-based Zimbabwean satellite and broadcasting network owned by Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, under Econet Media. The service was shut down formally on 1 November 2018. Customers that had bought the satellite could still watch Free to air content on their Kwese equipment... Read More About Kwese TV

60 thoughts on “RIP Kwese TV: Kwese’s Satellite-TV Closing Down After 18 Months

  1. No one can take on DSTV outside of South Afica… Not even Netflix can. Simply because broadband is just too expensive on our continent.

    1. Lol, so wingw about Netflix. Netflix is KILLING RSA DSTV subscription numbers to the point that Multichoice are openly complaining about the competition and lobbying GVT to drops in.

      1. He has no idea that Fibre adoption is gaining momentum in SA and most home like mine have already switch off Satellite subscriptions…

        1. He did say OUT OF SOUTH AFRICA, implying that he knows Multichoice is facing competition in SA but where else besides SA?

  2. This is crazy, how can you do that to us, we trusted you, we believed in you kwese and this is how you repay us, I’m really disappointed that you have accepted defeat
    You told us, you would bring new and exciting programs and we subscribed to your kwese decoder every month hoping we would see change and now this
    So we should just throw away these decoders?
    What you did was not professional I personally think you didn’t try at all, you didn’t give it your all

      1. So what will happen to the decoders that we bought? Throwing away???? No guys this is taking customers for granted.

    1. I was in an Econet Shop this morning actually wanting to have my name put on the waiting list for decoders. I was just told that it’s been time since they received new decoders and that they won’t be taking down more names. Nothing was said about the above. 🙂

      1. If by the above you mean the closure of the satellite service, then I would advise you to truly enquire from kwese and understand what you’re getting into if you go ahead and buy the decoder.

  3. Not well played at All!!! With Wi-Fi and broadband tariffs so high this service was our go to for entertainment. But you have chosen to just take it away based a survey you say you did. Did you actually ask your customers. No..of course you didn’t!!

  4. The idea to bring in a digital satellite television serivice to africa to remove DSTV as a monopoly was in all honesty a good idea. But like any other monopoly in any industry DSTV has been in the game for a very long time and they know the market in and out. The idea behing Kwese was to offer better exciting channels that are not on DSTv and offer the service at a lower price, which was fairly good. They had ESPN, Vice, AMC NBA tv but lack of major league european football which is the major attraction in the african market proved to have been a costly decision. DSTV reacted by introducing lower much affordable bouquets with equally if not better channel choices than kwese. And with the investment KWESE had made competing with DSTV on an innovative and creative scale and remaining profitable proved to be too big of a mountain to climb. The only real threat to DSTV could “MAYBE” be netflix but with the cost of data in africa its very unlikely.

  5. “Dear customer your Kwese TV subscription expires in 3 days.Please use account number ……….. for payment.To pay dial *119 .Please ignore if already paid.”

    You subscribe and two days latter you get this .”Wow excellent PR “

  6. You should have at least given us a notice of your intentions, now that i have paid for my November subscriptions i’ll be refunded maybe in February 2019 have lost value of my hard earned bond notes.

  7. so when are you collecting your decoders and dish , kwese have to pay the damage they have done to us i will never trust any thing from econet . these guys are playing with us with even giving us notice you just close like you dont have customer but you send your message reminding everyone to pay , you were trying to run away with our money hey

  8. Kwese is totally bs…you just leave us hanging like this,not even a notice…you Kwese people are just fake nxaaaa

  9. This is ridiculous!!! Apa ndo panodiwa lawsuit because you dont just pull the plug on a service people were using…

    1. There should have been forewarning. This is why some businesses don’t make it in this country, just waking up and pulling the plug on a service. Absurdity at its best!

    2. No customer care at all… No thought about how tough things are at the moment. People cant pay for DSTv because of lack of forex, Kwese was the next best thing. I dont buy that the service wasnt worth the time because there are many subscribers who bought into this vision!!!

    This is shoddy, even for econet… Ridiculous!!! When we buy your products, we invest into YOUR VISION. The least you could do is reciprocate with decent customer service!!! Ridiculous!!!

  10. Ndadumbirwa mhoti APA kunyepa kwavo ndatoisa report nt knowing varikuziva hidden agenda aaaa kungotaura idi mobveyi munobhowa yhooo

  11. How can your strategy have been so short sighted – you only operated for 18 months! No notice to customers and you were happy to take money for decoders just last month. I am going to back and spend my hard earned money with TelOne DEOD now, bye bye EcoNet, bye bye Kwese!

  12. these econet/kwese/zol gangsters are something else, and they keep sending me sms’s about VAYA, the next pyramid scheme from econet!!!

  13. Yaas Econet so! Saka kana vasingatipi service what will happen to their decoders and dishes. Mari yatakatenga nayo vanotidzosera here. We need redress as clients.

  14. This is total nonsense. It is very unfair. They should have told us in advance about this move. Many of us would not have bothered to pay in advance.

  15. Apa wosiiwa nechibhokisi nezvimarata pamusoro pemba kkkkkkk. Zvakaoma.

    Apa kutozvishingisawo hanzi DStv haina dooo neKwese.

    Mbabvu dzangu handichagoni ini maiweeeeee

  16. I feel conned. I am sure there is a legal option here… however they obviously don’t care what their clients think. What is left is not worth watching.
    Where I am there is no cable or broadband or WiFi…. as with most of rural Africa. So how do I access If mix?

  17. That has always been bad business by strive to an already burdened zimbabweans.. its abruptness to close shows a rip off … its real sad after it was aabout benjamins..it a very inconsiderate move.. how about someone who bout kwese 2months.. or two days before a decision to stop airing

  18. I could see this coming as competing with DSTV outside RSA is not sustainable. After noting that the service was being supplemented through social networking using expensive broadband, I loyally stuck to my DSTV and continued my subscriptions.

  19. I just the kwese decorder the day before yesterday.plenty were in view suddenly it changes to only 14.This is nonsense. There is God wooooo.

  20. cant we all join together and take these fcuking useless econet/kwese thieves to court and hit them where it hurts !! ??

  21. Damn Kwese econet return my november subscribtion. You knew all along that you were going to close on the first only to drop me an sms on the 2nd. Poor service and youve left fire churches in my house.

  22. I just purchased mind on 30th Oct 2018 and after installation on 2nd it closed. its what GTV did to us some time back and the Government did not protected us up to now and how am i going to watch the Caraboa cup EPL.

  23. Guys we have been disappointed by kwese, and so I have repackaged my kwese decorder, remote etc into the box waiting for the day their leadership will call us for a refund. It really disturbs as a satellite installer especially if you see those that you have encouraged to subscribe to kwese services.

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