Econet Group formally announced the termination of their Kwesé TV satellite service yesterday in a communiqué posted on Twitter.
They announced that the y will discontinue Kwesé TV satellite service with effect from August 5 2019, which is tomorrow. Kwesé TV satellite service was under the Econet Media sub-group.
“We regret to end this services, which thousands of Zimbabweans had embrace and welcomed into their homes and offices as a viable, alternative source of news, sport and entertainment,” they said.
They have a reason for shutting down the service. The service relies on third party content providers who need to be paid in foreign currently. Thanks to the prevailing economic conditions in Zimbabwe and the acute shortage of foreign currency, sustaining Kwesé an the Kwesé satellite service was no longer ‘viable’.
This news comes a month after it was reported that Kwesé was put under administration. They had appointed Ernst & Young to manage the process. Kwesé TV’s CEO, Joseph Hundah had said that they were to begin talks with creditors to rescue the business. Apparently the free to air business twas too small to sustain the financial burden of the satellite operations which led them to negotiate with creditors.
Kwesé has been operating in more than a dozen countries. Recently, Zimbabwe stopped recognizing the US dollar and other foreign currencies as legal tender and that could have exacerbated Kwesé’s problems even further.
They were also not able to catch up to DStv’s two decade start in the continent and that’s why the abandoned that model for a free to air approach as of 2018.