Econet Group Shut Down Kwesé TV due to Zimbabwe’s economic crisis

The Econet Group has announced the closure of Econet Media Limited, its subsidiary offering pan-African television service, Kwesé TV, video.

In a statement issued by Econet group, it was noted that the closure was a difficult decision that they could not postpone. The group cited Zimbabwe’s critical economic crisis as a major cause of the closure.

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It is a difficult decision that we could not postpone. Over the last four years we sought to disrupt Africa’s media landscape and enable Africa to tell its own stories using a variety of technologies including satellite broadcast, video streaming, and free-to-air TV.

Excerpt from the statement issued by Econet Group.

Sometime in June, Zimbabwe stopped recognizing the US dollar and the South African rand, as well as other foreign currencies, as legal tender because of the growing economic crisis in the country. An article on Business Elites Africa pointed out that Zimbabwe’s current inflation rate is 558% per annum.

According to the group, the lack of foreign currency to pay their suppliers has affected market conditions. They attributed rising price inflation to the sad situation that led to the collapse of the company.

 “The Econet Group invested heavily into Econet Media and supported the business over the period it operated without any third-party funding. Unfortunately, market conditions and content price inflation got in the way of us completing our mission.”

Excerpt from the statement issued by Econet Group.

Econet Media launched the Kwesé brand four years ago with a plan to disrupt the African media landscape. The media company has grown over the years to span 12 TV markets in Africa.

At the end of 2018, Econet’s media dropped their competition with MultiChoice’s DStv on the pay-TV market in favour of a focus on free television. However, the free television strategy failed mainly because of the lack of scale and the high cost of satellite transmission.

The impact of the closure of the media company on its various businesses is not yet clear. The group, however, expressed sincere regret over the effects of the decision on its staff and client.

“We deeply regret the impact that this decision has had on our staff, contractors, customers, regulators, and content providers. We will engage with each of our valued stakeholders transparently and will seek to meet our obligations to each of them as provided under the law.”

Excerpt from the statement issued by Econet Group.

It is yet unclear how the African Media landscape will be affected by the shutdown of Kwesé TV, Kwesé Sports, and Kwesé Play. But Econet Group has expressed its resolute belief in an inclusive, connected future that leaves no African behind.

 

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