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Kwesé pay-TV arm put into administration

As reported by Rebecca Hawkes from Rapid TV News, “African pay-TV operator Econet Media is to begin talks with creditors to rescue its Kwesé satellite TV business after it was put into administration.”

In an article published in Business Day, CEO Joseph Hundah said the company has appointed accountants Ernst & Young to manage the administration process. Hundah told Business Day that “Kwese’s free-to-air business was too small to sustain the financial burden of its satellite operations, which led to the decision to negotiate with creditors.

“Kwesé TV mounted a good fight in more than 12 countries but could not catch up to DStv’s two-decade head start, abandoning the model for a free-to-air approach as of the end of 2018.”

Hundah also drew attention to other challenges faced by Econet Media, which is owned by Zimbabwe’s richest man, Strive Masiyiwa. “The group’s inability to exit money out of Zimbabwe has had an impact on the business… No other business in Masiyiwa’s Econet Global group is affected by the administration process,” Hundah told Business Day.

This news follows after a consortium comprising Econet Media (20%), Royal Bafokeng (45%) and Mosong Capital (35%), was – in March this year – awarded a licence by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa to compete with free-to-air terrestrial broadcasters SABC and e.tv. When it launches, the Kwesé Free TV network will be the first to enter the South African market for more than two decades.

Kwesé iflix adds Scoop Network to growing lifestyle line-up

Kwesé iflix – Africa’s game-changing digital entertainment platform, has announced the launch of international channel Scoop Network to add to its extensive content catalogue.

Kwesé iflix users can enjoy endless hours of showbiz from the trendy Scoop Network, consisting of a mix of light entertainment magazine shows with movie, music, fashion and celebrity news.

Scoop Network, which is already available in multiple territories around the world, will join Kwesé iflix’s exciting entertainment line-up with an exclusive tailor-made feed. A dedicated editorial team from Dutch Indie FCCE, based in Nairobi, Kenya, is producing the feed especially for English speaking African territories.

In addition to the Daily Entertainment News anchored by African talent, African audiences are in for a real treat on Scoop Network which will boast a whole host of local shows like ‘Snoops’, an all-African gossip show presented from Nairobi and ‘Entertainment Catch Up’ a weekly magazine with the latest updates and showcasing celebrity events, awards shows, fashion weeks, and so much more!

Scoop Network CEO Justus Verkerk stated, “The partnership with Kwesé iflix is part of our ongoing strategy to optimise relevancy to a digitally-focused audience, giving users greater freedom and flexibility over their viewing experience. And the localised African feed is really delivering an up to date entertainment experience! The ever-changing media landscape has provided opportunities for us to deliver authentic features from Africa and around the world, bringing viewers high-quality content on-the-go, anytime, anywhere on any device!”

Kwesé iflix CEO, Mayur Patel commented, “Scoop Network captivates super-fans around the globe with high-quality content designed to inform, entertain and inspire. We are excited to add the cutting-edge channel to our extensive portfolio of African favourites from top local shows, celebrity gossip through to international hit series, bringing our users the very best in streaming video on demand.”

New users can simply download the Kwesé iflix app from Google Play or the Apple App Store. Customers can access the Kwesé iflix service without a decoder, or even a television – just their mobile device.

Kwesé iflix premieres Kenyan-produced original drama series

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Kwesé iflix, an African digital entertainment platform, recently premiered its first Kwesé iflix original series, Nganya. Users across Africa can stream and download the action-packed, thirteen-part drama series exclusively on Kwesé iflix.

Produced by leading Kenyan production house, Assignments Studios, Nganya is a gritty Swahili drama centred around the matatu business in Nairobi’s Eastlands. In a criminal underworld teeming with shady characters, the hapless matatu team soon find themselves tangled in a web of corruption and deceit.

Nganya features a talented all-star Kenyan cast consisting of Maina wa Ndung’u, Mbeki Mwalimu, Isaac Kiarie, Peter Oruka, Jerry Mokua, Mwaura Bilal, Tim King’oo and Nice Githinji.

Kwesé iflix CEO, Mayur Patel commented: “Our exclusive original production, Nganya, underlines Kwesé iflix’s ambition to be part of the entertainment revolution in our markets. Deeply relevant, action-packed and with a stellar cast, Nganya, pushes the limits. We are excited to be releasing this drama series for our users to download and watch.”

Assignment Studios CEO, Jeremy K. Muli who is also the producer of Nganya stated, “We are thrilled to be launching Nganya on Kwesé iflix and offering viewers a different way of consuming local content, one that complements both traditional and current viewing habits, expanding opportunities for the Kenyan film industry to grow.”

 

Kwesé iflix named Best Innovation in Digital Entertainment at AfricaCom 2018

Kwesé iflix, Africa’s game-changing digital entertainment platform, took centre stage at AfricaCom – the largest telecoms, media, and technology event in Africa – this year winning Best Innovation in Digital Entertainment. The award was presented by Balancing Act CEO Russell Southward. The awards honoured pioneering service providers and operators who are leading digital inclusion, connectivity and digital development on the African continent.

Winners were selected by an independent panel of industry experts who judged the entries based on innovation, financial performance, technology, market leadership and corporate governance.

Kwesé iflix CEO, Mayur Patel, commented, “We are honoured to have been selected as the Best Innovation in Digital Entertainment, especially among a strong field of innovative offerings and industry players. Africa is one of the most dynamic, competitive and rapidly growing regions in the world. As the mobile streaming entertainment industry evolves, innovation is critical to survival and growth. It is our deep dedication to innovation that has allowed us to break free from the traditional VOD model and create a truly localised entertainment service for our local customers in each of our African markets.”

“The award is a testament to the hard work and dedication of all our in-country teams. Their collective focus on consumer innovation and engagement, to better serve our customers, is aimed at revolutionising entertainment on the African continent,” Patel added.

“AfricaCom continues to grow and with it the awards,” commented Tom Cuthell, event director of AfricaCom. “I would like to thank everyone involved, our judging panel who rigorously vetted the entries, sponsors and partners for their ongoing support, and all the companies who continue to show how dedicated they are to ensuring that Africa advances into the digital ecosphere.”

Econet Media’s Liquid Telecom took home Best Network Improvement for the completion of the Cape to Cairo fibre route. Econet Wireless (Cassava Fintech) and Mahindra Comviva was awarded the Fintech Innovation Award for EcoCash Merchant Payments powered by mobiquity® Money.

Kwesé iflix to broadcast highly anticipated boxing match on its mobile app

Kwesé iflix, Africa’s game-changing digital entertainment platform, is thrilled to announce it is making the World Heavyweight clash between Anthony Joshua and Alexander Povetkin available live to millions of boxing fans throughout Africa on its mobile app.

This latest offering is a testament to the company’s commitment to bring users the world’s most elite premium sporting competitions, with virtual front row seats to watch the unified champion of the world, Anthony Joshua put his titles on the line as he faces former WBA title holder Alexander Povetkin. On Saturday, 22 September users can stream the fight live from Wembley Stadium exclusively on the Kwesé iflix app, by purchasing a VIP pass costing the equivalent of 60 cents in local currency.

The undefeated Anthony Joshua of Nigerian origin, holding three of the four major world titles (IBF, WBA and WBO), is about to face one of the biggest tests of his career as he gears up to face Russian Alexander Povetkin in the ring. With many world-class champions emerging from the continent like Corrie Sanders, Julius Indongo, Dick Tiger, John Mugabi and Gerrie Coetzee, the popularity of boxing in Africa is undoubtedly on the rise.

This announcement follows Kwesé iflix’s successful streaming of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia matches, which saw approximately 100 million minutes streamed across the continent, rapidly making the platform one of the leading mobile entertainment services in Africa since its May 2018 launch.

In the build up to the live match Kwesé iflix is also offering free access to highlights and repeats of Joshua’s four most recent fights. These include his victories over Eric Molina, Wladimir Klitschko, Carlos Takam and Joseph Parker.

Kwesé iflix CEO, Mayur Patel said, “Since our launch three months ago, it has been our intention to bring Kwesé iflix users the most anticipated matches, and world-class entertainment content on their mobile devices. At Kwesé iflix, we are committed to delivering the best live sports streaming experience possible through our all-new live streaming channel hub. It is our mission to make the most coveted sporting events easily accessible to local fans.”

Along with boxing, sporting fans can also enjoy live games from the ongoing UEFA Nations League as well as sports review shows such as Football Made in Africa and Kwesé Football Fundis.

Kwesé iflix offers users the region’s most extensive collection of highly acclaimed local African and international series and movies, including first-to-market exclusive programming. With over 240 studio and distributor partnerships worldwide, Kwesé iflix offers subscribers a premium selection of iconic, critically-acclaimed TV series and fan-favourite both internationally and locally available, including hit titles such as ICE, Saints & Sinners, Riviera, Britannia, Tin Star, Being Mary Jane, Medici Masters of Florence, Luther, and more. As well as Bollywood hits Love Shagun, Sharafat Gayi Tel Lene, Golmaal Returns and Dedh Ishqiya.  To access the full premium content catalogue, individuals can buy a 1 day, 3 day, 7 day or 30 day VIP pass to suit their pocket.

The Kwesé iflix app is available to download for free from the Google Play and Apple App stores.

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