Kwesé Free TV gets licence to fly in South Africa
26 March 2019
Econet Media and partners have been awarded a commercial free-to-air broadcasting licence for their South African network Kwesé Free TV.
Kwese logo 24 March 2019The decision hands Kwesé the opportunity to launch five free-to-air channels in the country, including its free-to-air HD sports service. It has also been awarded a radio frequency spectrum licence, giving the broadcaster 55% of the third South African digital terrestrial multiplex frequencies.
Econet owns 20% of the network, with Royal Bafokeng Holdings having a 45% stake and Mosong Capital owning 35% of the South African venture.
South African broadcast regulator ICASA said licensing an additional individual commercial free-to-air TV service and related spectrum would stimulate competition and increase the variety of broadcasting services available to South Africans.
“Broadcasting services play a crucial role in deepening our democracy, by, among other things, providing a platform for the expression of multiple views and strengthening social cohesion as well as giving a voice to various sections of the population,” said Dimakatso Qocha, ICASA councillor.
Last year, Kwesé changed its business strategy satellite pay-TV model, moving away from the direct-to-home (DTH) and instead concentrating on video streaming and free-to-air broadcasting, with its Kwesé Free Sports service.
In December, Econet took complete control of on-demand service Kwesé iflix after acquiring iflix’ stake in the African streaming joint venture.