Last year the social media went a buzz when, Strive Masiyiwa announced that he is launching his own television (Kwese TV) that will be giving the world Free Sport content without any subscription required. This is the same man who is the founder of Econet Group, a privately-owned diversified Group with operations and investments in Africa, Europe, South America, North America and the East Asia Pacific Rim. In fact, as the founder of Mascom Wireless in Botswana he has had his surname as a prefix to the cellular phone company’s name. Although Masiyiwa is highly reputed in the business arena, the information about Kwese TV coming from his Facebook page sounded too good to be true. That was so until some local radio stations started blowing horns, alerting the public that the new kid on the block has found a way to penetrate Botswana. But what exactly is Kwese TV? After poking around their Facebook page, sending endless messages abroad, communicating with the outside office, the Country General Manager of Kwese TV and Kwese Free Sports in Botswana Goabaone Kgosana was finally located. With open arms, the young looking versatile Goabaone Kgosana did not hesitate, but took time to explain every inch of what Kwese TV and Kwese Free Sports is. Giving account of Kwese, Kgosana says Kwese TV and Kwese Free Sports is a new and exciting subscription broadcasting service, provided by Econet Media Limited, a subsidiary of the Econet Group. Their services comprise a bouquet of linear channels delivered to customers over satellite, as a video on demand (VOD) services and over the top (OTT) content services using available internet and broadband services, across Sub-Sahara Africa, including Botswana.
Although the Television station is already giving some of Batswana free sports content on Btv set top box (only available in Gaborone), it is yet to launch. “We are currently preparing a commercial launch of Kwesé TV. Upon receiving our broadcasting license from BOCRA, we hope to launch within the next two months,” Kgosana declares. According to Kgosana, after the launch Batswana will have the honour to receive 40% of premium and exclusive Sports and General Entertainment content and all these channels can only be seen on Kwesé in Africa. Examples of those channels include American Movie Channel (AMC), Revolt, DreamWorks, and ESPN; which actually makes Kwesé Free Sports the second largest holder of sports content in Africa. To put the cherry on top,she says they will also have some faith-based channels as well. Explaining how Batswana can access Kwese TV, she saysthey will have to wait for the launch to enjoy their Kwesé Bouquet. After the launch of Kwese TV, anyone residing in Botswana would have to buy the Kwese Set Top Box through their approved dealers and pay a subscription for 3-day; 7-day or 30-day access.
The subscription, which will mainly be based on flexible options will get to see subscribers paying P295.00 per month for over sixty channels and P50.00 for three days. To top it all there is a seven-day subscription of P88.00. Kwese TV does not only come to give Batswana entertainment but also to help improve the film and creative industry in Botswana. To Kgosana, Kwese TV and Kwese Free Sports will source local content from various media production houses in Botswana covering both sports and general entertainment. Company spokesperson Shadi Linchwe assured Batswana unlike some of the television stations that have been knocked off the market in Botswana, Kwese TV is here to stay.
One subscription to the Kwesé Bouquet on the decoder, will give the customer access to view content on various platforms. The customer gets access on up to four devices excluding the decoder with two simultaneous viewing sessions. This includes the subscriber laptop, mobile devices and their desktops. Every Kwesé TV customer will get this irrespective of payment period option chosen.
Currently Kwese TV Botswana has a team of only Batswana employees.