The long-awaited verdict on the court case concerning Dr Dish’s licence to distribute content has finally been passed and the Supreme Court has ruled that Kwese was not supposed to be distributing content using Dr Dish’s licence.
Where is this coming from you may be wondering? Well, to fully grasp what happened we have to go back a few months and look at what exactly was happening during Kwese’s struggle to broadcast locally. When Kwese TV came into Zim, the licence they were using to broadcast belonged to Dr Dish.
Shortly after coming into the market Kwese faced some legal troubles as the licence they were using (Dr Dish’s licence) “was cancelled by the authority for failure by Dr Dish to provide service”. Once it was proven that Dr Dish’s licence had not been cancelled Kwese got the ball rolling once again but then BAZ contested the High Court’s judgement on the basis that the High Court had no jurisdiction to preside over the ‘Kwesé TV licence’ suspension case.
In the meantime, Dr Dish sought permission to continue operating whilst this issue was before the courts. And therein lies the issue. Essentially this was an issue between Dr Dish and BAZ and not Kwese vs BAZ. When they were granted this permission, Kwese continued selling their decoders and doing business. Essentially this Supreme Court ruling is againt Dr Dish and not Kwese as many have been reporting. This is also why it doesn’t make sense for media to report that this led to the ‘closure’ or the revision of strategy by Kwese…
Is this why Kwese shifted strategy?
Though media coverage of this story has essentially been; “This court order was made on the 25th October and Kwese announced their new strategy on the 2nd of November. It must be because of this ruling.” Well, that line of thinking isn’t really accurate. Econet Media’s move to focus on iflix and Kwese Play was always in the pipeline and because they were headed down this route, this is why they made these changes throughout Africa. If the BAZ ruling had anything to do with Kwese focusing less on satellite, then why do the same in territories where they were licenced?
Secondly, this ruling wouldn’t have meant much anyway because as said before; the appeal was made by Dr Dish who was partnered with Kwese at the time of the appeal but had fallen out with Kwese later on. Kwese went on to acquire their own licences and I don’t think this ruling would have stopped business in any way for the media company.