Econet Media, the parent company Kwesé has today announced that it has reviewed its business strategy and is aligning itself to changes in the global digital and satellite space, which is simply to say that the company is ending its pay-TV business in favour of streaming services.
The company said that it will now focus all its energy on growing Kwesé Free Sports (KFS), Kwesé iflix and Kwesé Play. This means that their pay-TV service will be reduced to only offering Free-To-Air channels, religious channels, and free news channels. Premium third-party channels, Kwesé branded sports channels (excluding KFS) and general entertainment channels, will be axed from the service.
As from this month, Kwesé TV will be available to viewers at a one-off minimal fee without any monthly subscriptions. The company also stated that subscribers who had already paid their subscriptions for the month of November, or in advance, will receive a full refund.
“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 provide new compelling offers for our customer’s enjoyment,” said Joe Hundah, Group President and CEO, Econet Media.
In addition to these changes, Kwesé will also be creating their own localized content through Kwesé Studios.
“Through Kwesé Studios, Econet Media will invest in developing its own original programming and provide a platform for African producers, scriptwriters, actors and directors to tell authentic African stories on a pan-African broadcast network,” the company added.
This major change on Kwesé TV comes after Naspers outlined plans to exit the pay-TV business by listing Multichoice, owners of DStv on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE).