At the end of 2015, telecoms company Econet Wireless launched a pay TV service called Kwesé TV. Prior to its launch, the company stated that it had worked on the service for three years. The pay TV product, which has a complementary smartphone app, is poplar for airing sports. At its inception, it was perceived to give DStv the competition it needed (or needs depending on who you are talking to). At first, Kwesé TV launched in Rwanda, Zambia and Ghana. The service made its way to Kenya in August 2016 through a free to air (FTA) channel in the name of Kwesé Free Sports.
It should be remembered that Econet Media did acquire rights to air sports content. In fact, the sports channel is only available in Kenya via FTA set-top boxes. Interestingly, it airs the English Premier League (EPL), which is one of the service’s competitive tool over rivals, where rivals mean DStv users and viewers.
Econet Media has announced that it will be partnering with Roku, Inc. to offer streaming YV services that will be called Kwesé Play. The service is already available in South Africa.
According to Business Wire, Econet and Roku are looking forward to availing streaming services to other African nations.
“By working with Econet we expand our footprint into Africa and get the Roku streaming experience into the hands of African consumers. As part of our Roku Powered™ license agreement, Econet will leverage our proven streaming platform to launch an innovative TV service to its customers,” said Andrew Ferrone, vice president pay TV at Roku.
Joseph Hundah, Chief Executive Officer of Econet Media adds,” Roku’s track-record made them the obvious choice for us. The ability to deliver the Kwesé Play service to televisions is an important facet of our multiplatform content delivery service. As a result of this partnership, we are able to offer our customers cutting-edge TV services at a low cost with easy to use Roku players.”
Customers will get access to on-demand services and live TV using Roku Powered program.
This is mostly good news in an entertainment industry where VOD services are gaining popularity, including a possible merger between ShowMax and MultiChoice DStv Digital Media.