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Confusion over Kwese TV's Zimbabwe licence

by Staff reporter
24 Aug 2017 at 06:45hrs | Views
KWESE TV has partnered local player, Dr Dish in a content distribution deal that will see the Econet media owned company beam in the country. However, there is confusion as the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe yesterday claimed that it has cancelled Dr Dish's licence.

This follows a content distribution pact between the two which, in an exclusive interview with an impeccable source who requested anonymity, the deal had to be struck to penetrate into Zimbabwe.

"Yes, we've signed a deal with Dr Dish as our local content distributor. We felt this was an easy way to get into Zimbabwe since they already have an operating licence," said the source.

In a statement announcing the entry of Kwese TV into the country, Dr Dish said they received a licence in 2012 which will expire five years from now. The company's executive chairperson Mr Nyasha Muzavazi expressed his joy for getting Kwese on board.

"We were so excited about this development that we immediately notified the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe, in terms of Section 17 of the Broadcasting Services Act Chapter 12:06 as part of the administrative and regulatory requirements.

"We notified the regulator that we were partnering with Kwese and gave them full details of the channels we were going to bring to the nation, together with a whole host of other technical information," Muzavazi said.

He said they hoped to bring the Kwese service to Zimbabwe in January this year, but had to wait for Zimbabwe to get its slot in the ongoing pan-African rollout which Kwese is currently involved in.

"The parties have been working tirelessly since then and making all necessary preparations for the launch of Kwese in Zimbabwe. A lot of work has gone into building a powerful distribution infrastructure, recruitment, training and development of Kwese's installation teams, the high-tech Kwese Technites, customer service training, advertising and other work," he added.

Dr Dish also successfully secured the participation of Econet Kwese Television Zimbabwe (Private) Limited as part of its establishment, in compliance with the regulations.

Announcing the choice of Econet Media as a partner, Mr Muzavazi said: "We're very excited about our partnership because Econet Media is a next generation African media player whose multi-platform offering includes direct to home satellite services (DTH), a mobile app – Kwese App which includes the popular sports all Kwese Free Sports (KFS) App, broadband television service Kwese Play and digital sports service KweseESPN among others.

"With a presence in 23 countries and over 75m eye balls across Africa, we could not miss the opportunity to bring Kwese TV to Zimbabwe. The final piece in ensuring we achieve this was to make sure that our licence fees were all up to date and that was done this week."

Sharing the news on their Facebook page yesterday, Econet Zimbabwe said there would be one bouquet with a monthly subscription of $29. However, TV viewers who will purchase the Kwese decoders now will have free subscription for the first month. "The wait is over! Kwesé TV is now available in Zimbabwe! Sign up today and get your dish, decoder, installation and one month free subscription for only $49!

"Payments can be made via cash, EcoCash or POS. Visit your nearest Econet shop and be one of the first to experience Kwesé TV in the country!"

Asked if one can use a DStv dish for Kwese installation, Econet said: "In order to enjoy the service, you need the full set – decoder, dish and subscription. Our monthly subscription is $29."

Meanwhile, the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) yesterday dismissed reports that it has licensed Kwese TV to operate in the country.

Reports on the licensing of Kwese TV have gone viral on social media.

In a statement yesterday, BAZ chief executive Mr Obert Muganyura said in terms of the Broadcasting Services Act [Chapter 12:06], no person shall provide a broadcasting service in Zimbabwe other than in accordance with a licence issued by BAZ.

"The content distribution licence issued to Dr Dish, which was specific to the provision of the My TV Africa Service, as declared by Dr Dish in its application and stated in the terms and conditions of the licence, was cancelled by the authority for failure by Dr Dish to provide the My TV Africa service," he said.

"BAZ therefore wishes to advise the public not to invest in a service that cannot be provided without a licence and warns anyone who may contemplate providing an unlicensed broadcasting service to acquaint themselves with the course of action that the authority is bound to take in terms of the law," said Mr Maganyura.

Some sections of the media reported that Econet Zimbabwe employees were given Kwese TV decoders. They claimed that Government had licensed the pay TV platform owned by Econet Media, a subsidiary of Econet Global to start operations in the country. Lovemore Nyatsine, executive assistant to Econet group chief executive officer was, however, quoted dismissing the claims.

"It is still premature for me to comment because there are certain procedures that are being followed. "We are actually not licensed, as in that manner, certain processes need to be done."

Currently, Kwese TV is operating in Botswana, Ghana, Lesotho, Rwanda and Zambia.

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