Kwese TV has finally shut down operations putting an end to a Pay-TV dream that promised world-class content for the African Continent. The Parent Company, Econent Media had announced last December of its decision to shut down operations of the company.
According to reports, the shortage of foreign exchange and the high cost of acquiring content and paying in foreign currency were the major reasons that forced Kwese’s immediate shut-down. Till date, economic conditions have continued to worsen in Zimbabwe, heightened by forex shortages.
Kwese is dead: Econet Group confirmed that the closure of the Pay TV would no longer be postponed after a public formalisation of its closure in 2018. Kwese majorly relied on third-party providers for its content but could no longer keep paying in foreign currency. Douglas Mboweni, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Econet Group, said the payment was no longer viable.
“The third-party content providers, on whose content we rely, require payment in foreign currency. With the prevailing economic conditions in Zimbabwe, and the current business operating environment – characterised by an acute shortage of foreign currency – sustaining Kwese and the Kwese Satellite Service was no longer viable.”
Econet Media, the parent company which operated the entertainment division is now under the administration because of outstanding debt. Musonza added, “This really has nothing to do with Zimbabwe, but a lack of appreciation of the video/television industry and the evolving technology.”
Kwese has now shut down its Pay-TV, Free-to-Air TV, and Digital Platforms. Even a quick browse through Google will show that the Kwese app and website are no longer available. All customers that subscribed to the service were asked to redeem their credits by dialling *119#.
Kwese TV has in its four years of existence garnered tens of thousands of subscribers across more than 12 African countries, providing premium content to its diverse African audience.