Archive - December 2016


Accra 16 December: African media network Econet Media and MTG (Modern Times Group), a leading international digital entertainment group today announced the conclusion of the sale of MTG’s Ghanaian free-to-air terrestrial channel Viasat 1 and Modern African Productions (MAP) to the Econet Media Group. Econet Media acquires all MTG assets in Ghana as well as MAP’s operations in Ghana and Nigeria as part of this deal and will retain all staff.

The process will now begin to officially rebrand Viasat 1 to Kwesé Free Sports, Econet Media’s premium free-to-air sports channel within its Kwesé TV network. Kwesé Free Sports is Africa’s first truly Pan-African free-to-air sports channel which is available in 19 countries of which five; Kenya, Rwanda, Malawi, Uganda and now Ghana, have the full 24/7 channel.

Focussed on premium sports programming, the channel boasts some impressive international sports content most of which is exclusive to Kwesé. The exciting programming line-up includes the Premier League, NBA, NFL, Formula 1 and many other leagues.

The entry of Kwesé Free Sports represents an industry first in Ghana where the local FTA industry has focussed on general entertainment programming with few, if any options for sports programming outside of pay tv. The addition of Kwesé Free Sports to Ghana’s FTA industry will add a new and exciting dimension to the local FTA industry by giving viewers more diversity and choice. 


Commenting on the acquisition, Group Chief Executive Officer and President of Econet Media Joseph Hundah said “We are excited to bring Kwesé TV to Ghana. Kwesé is fast becoming a leading source for the latest in sports and sports fans in Ghana can look forward to some exciting programming on Kwesé Free Sports. This acquisition marks a significant milestone for the growth of our business and Ghana is an important market for us as we expand our offering across the continent”.


Viewers can look forward to a refreshed channel with the very best in sports entertainment featuring some familiar faces as well as brand new programming delivering the best sports shows, latest news, highlights and live action from across the globe. Kwesé Free Sports promises great entertainment for the whole family. The channel can also be viewed on the Kwesé App which is available for download on both iOS and Android.

For more information on the programming schedule please visit

Find us on Facebook and Twitter: @kwesesports



Transaction will create the largest pan-African fibre network and B2B communications services provider

15 December – Johannesburg, South Africa

Pan-African telecoms group Liquid Telecom, which is majority-owned by Econet Global, has received unconditional approval from the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) for the ZAR 6.55 billion acquisition of South African communications network operator Neotel. This follows approval from South Africa’s Competition Commission during October 2016.

Liquid Telecom’s partner, South African investment group Royal Bafokeng Holdings (RBH), will own a 30% stake in Neotel. Liquid Telecom expects financial close to occur during the first quarter of 2017.

The combined network assets and service platforms will give Liquid Telecom unrivalled reach across Eastern, Central and Southern Africa, enabling it to offer access via a single connection to over 40,000km of cross border, national and metro fibre networks across 12 countries.

Commenting on the approval, Nic Rudnick, Group CEO of Liquid Telecom, said: “We are delighted to have received regulatory approval to complete this transaction. The combined companies will create an unparalleled footprint covering key markets across the continent, giving Liquid Telecom a significant competitive advantage through the breadth, depth and flexibility of our consolidated networks. We will be able to offer African companies the highest quality and most extensive connectivity on the continent. We appreciate the efficiency with which this transaction was dealt with by both ICASA and the Competition Commission.”

Albertinah Kekana, CEO of RBH, said: “Our decision to partner with Liquid Telecom and Neotel is in-line with our diversification strategy which seeks to invest in high growth sectors. Together, we are well positioned to expand through telecommunications infrastructure and services sector in other key markets beyond South Africa.”

Speaking on behalf of Neotel, Non-Executive Director in Charge, Kennedy Memani, said: “We welcome ICASA’s approval of this transaction. Leveraging the strengths of Liquid Telecom, Neotel’s staff and customers will benefit from the stability, planned expansion and increased investments into the business. This will enable Neotel to reach its full potential in South Africa and across the African continent.”

Liquid Telecom will invest in Neotel’s products and services in order to support the rising demand for network services in South Africa and other African countries. Neotel will also benefit from Liquid Telecom’s pan-African experience and technology leadership, helping to enhance systems and processes across its operations as well as drive profitability.

The transaction will transform Liquid Telecom’s presence in South Africa, where Liquid Telecom’s growing base of corporate and enterprise customers will benefit from Neotel’s extended services portfolio and advanced network reach.

The deal for Neotel continues a period of accelerated growth for Liquid Telecom, which has combined strategic acquisitions, such as the recent joint venture in Botswana and the acquisition of Tanzania’s leading ISP Raha, with ongoing investment in the rollout of fibre.

The transaction provides a scalable platform for further long-term growth, enabling Liquid Telecom to deliver on its vision of a more connected Africa.

Additional information:

  • Since its launch in 2006, Neotel has invested over ZAR 7 billion in infrastructure, deploying a nation-wide backbone fibre connecting the top 40 cities and towns in South Africa. Neotel connects over 5,000 businesses and passes close to another 100,000 addresses.

  • The transaction includes two of Neotel’s Tier 3 designed state-of-the-art data centres in Johannesburg and Cape Town, which offer a combined 1700 square metres of rack space. The facilities serve major carriers, ISPs, enterprises and international service providers, and will complement the East Africa Data Centre, which Liquid Telecom operates in Nairobi, Kenya.

  • Neotel has fully redundant backhaul fibre to landing stations with access to all five of the international subsea cables serving South Africa (SAT-3, SAFE, SEACOM, EASSy and WACS). It is either an owner or landing partner on all these cable systems. Liquid Telecom also owns significant international subsea capacity, and is building its own subsea cable linking the east coast of Africa, Liquid Sea.

  • Neotel operates one of the largest Ethernet networks in Africa, which was the first to be certified as fully MEF compliant in South Africa. Liquid Telecom has also assumed a market leadership role with Carrier Ethernet, becoming the first pan-African fibre operator to receive the MEF Carrier Ethernet 2.0 (CE 2.0) services certification.

Media enquiries:

Contact: Lee-Roy Chetty


Cell: +27 71 330 1073

Agreement marks Liquid Telecom’s entrance in Tanzania market

December 14, 2016, Dar es Salaam

Liquid Telecom has received the final regulatory approval to close its latest transaction in Tanzania and has become the majority stakeholder of Raha, Tanzania’s leading Internet Service Provider.

Raha today serves over 1500 businesses as well as a growing number of retail customers with a range of connectivity solutions, including fibre, satellite, WiMAX and Wi-Fi. The acquisition provides Liquid Telecom’s enterprise and wholesale customers with direct and faster access to Tanzania and to all Eastern, Central and Southern Africa.

Tanzania will become the latest market to be added to Liquid Telecom’s extensive fibre network, which is the largest of its kind serving eastern, central and southern Africa, spanning over 40,000km across 12 countries.

The Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) approved the agreement on December 8, 2016.

“We are very pleased to announce that this transaction has received its final approval. The agreement enables Liquid Telecom to expand its footprint into Tanzania, a growing and dynamic African country,” said Nic Rudnick, CEO, Liquid Telecom.

“We are thrilled with this approval and look forward to being part of a pan-African connectivity movement,” said Aashiq Shariff, CEO, Raha.

Notes to editors:

  • Raha operates a metro network throughout the Central Business District (CBD) of Dar es Salaam as well as other areas of the Tanzania capital. It also operates WiMax and WiFi hotspots in over 150 locations across the country, including the cities of Arusha, Moshi, Mwanza, Mbeya and Tanga.

  • Relaunching as Raha 2.0, the company has built a dynamic and innovative reputation amongst Tanzania consumers and businesses, and last year collected the prestigious Brand of the Year Award (Africa) at the Social Media Awards Africa (SMAA).

  • Internet penetration in Tanzania has increased rapidly in recent years reaching 34% in 2015. Mobile subscriptions increased by more than 24% in 2015 to 39.8 million, while the number of internet users rose 52% year-on-year to reach 17.26 million last year, according to TRCA.

Johannesburg 12 December 2016 - Econet Media has added another premium sports channel to its impressive sports portfolio. The channel, Kwesé Sports 1 (KS1), is the latest sports channel available exclusively on Kwesé and can be viewed on the Kwesé App. The new channel, which officially launched on December 9th, will feature over 90 live sports events in its launch month alone.

Some of the live and exclusive events which will be shown on the channel in December include the NBA, Australia vs. Pakistan cricket tour, Copa Del Rey, English rugby and Extreme Fighting Championship (EFC) action.

Kwesé’s sports channel line-up is currently made up of four prime sports channels which include a mix of exclusive partner channels: NBA TV, Extreme Fighting Championships (EFC) and esports channel ESL and Kwesé’s owned free-to-air sports channel, Kwesé Free Sports, which is Africa’s first 24/7 FTA sports channel which is currently broadcasting in 18  countries.

“By making the best in sports available to more African sports fans, Kwesé is becoming Africa’s destination for premium sports content. The launch of KS1 adds to our diverse sports offering on TV, the Kwesé App, our digital destination Kwesé as well as our esports properties. Viewers can look forward to more exciting developments from Kwesé as we take sports to the fans!” says Joseph Hundah Group Chief Executive Officer and President of Econet Media.

KS1’s opening line-up includes exclusive pre-fight behind-the-scenes updates with Anthony Joshua ahead of his heavyweight title fight against Eric Molina which will be broadcast live on the channel.

Viewers can access KS1 on the Kwesé App which is available on iOS and Android. For scheduling information visit:



Press release, 9 December - Kwesé today announced the winner of the NBA All-Star Weekend competition. Mugisha Aime Franck from Burundi has won the full All-Star experience including access to the Rising Star Challenge, All Star Saturday and the All-Star Game from 17 to 19 February 2017.

Mugisha was selected from a pool of entrants who downloaded the Kwesé App to enter the competition. The prize covers tickets for NBA games and tourist attractions, meals, transportation, gifts, on-site logistical support, flights and hotel fees amongst other things.

A Cleveland Cavaliers fan, Mugisha is a 20 year old second year Commerce university student currently on scholarship at Ain Shams University in Cairo, Egypt.

On winning the trip he said “I thought it was a joke when I received the call from Kwesé, I never thought I would win when I downloaded the app. I am excited and cannot wait to experience the full All Star Weekend, I would like to thank Kwesé and the NBA for this once in a life time opportunity”

“Kwesé would like to congratulate Mugisha on winning the competition. The All-Star Weekend pass is every basketball fan’s dream and we are proud to be part of awarding it to a deserving fan to experience the action live from the NBA New Orleans court next year”, said Joseph Hundah, President and Chief Executive Officer, Econet Media. 

Mugisha will be joining a group of winners from all over the world in New Orleans for this experience. Basketball fans in the African continent can watch action from the All Star Weekend live on Kwesé platforms including Kwesé Free Sports and the official Kwesé App available on IOS and Android. 

Press release, 06 December – Kwesé, in partnership with Xbox, crowned the winner of the African Championship eSports (ACE) tournament this past week at the Microsoft head office in Bryanston, Johannesburg (JHB). Muzammil Mowzer from Cape Town (CT) walked away with the esteemed title of South Africa’s best FIFA 17 player as well as a share of the R100 000 prize money.

The final winners are as follows:

  • Winner: Muzammil Mowzer – R25 000, CT
  • First runner-up: Aziz Hendricks – R15 000, CT
  • Second runner-up: Babalo Manqele – R7 000, JHB
  • Third runner-up: Kevin Tembo – R3 000, JHB

The tournament had a bonus round which saw Hlogi Manong, an audience member, win R5 000. Vin Mushwama and Uwais Patel who were two of the JHB finalists also walked away with R3 000 and R2 000 respectively in this round.

Over 850 players registered for the tournament between JHB and CT, making it the biggest FIFA tournament in the country this year. The tournament saw gaming pros and amateur hopefuls battle it out through grueling rounds and this was broadcast live on Kwesé’s Facebook page.

ESports is a growing trend and it is making a notable impact in the competitive gaming industry. It is expected to generate large global revenues in the coming years and Kwesé is proud to be at the forefront of bringing it to fans and participants across the African continent with its recent partnership with ESL, the world’s leading eSports platform.

Fans can expect more action from Kwesé’s gaming offering. For more information on this check

Press release, Johannesburg, 01 December - Kwesé Sports, Econet Media’s premium sports content platform, has launched Kwesé MatchDay5, a football fantasy league game that allows subscribers to create their own teams from a selection of England’s best footballers and matches from each round of fixtures.

This compelling game awards points to subscribers based on their players’ real world performances, and gives fantasy players the chance to win one of two all-expenses-paid trips to watch a live football match in England, accompanied by a partner of their choice. One trip is awarded after the final round of matches in December 2016, while the other trip is awarded at the end of the current season.

In order to be eligible to win, subscribers are required to score enough points in a single game-week to achieve a top five position on the leaderboard. These five weekly winners are automatically entered into the Kwesé League of Champions, where they will take part in a one-off competition in December 2016, and again in May 2017, to try and win one of the two trips.

Kwesé MatchDay5 is designed to be quick and simple for players to use, while enhancing their enjoyment of match weekends throughout the season. To sign up and play the game, players can visit and register using their Facebook or Google details to create a profile. Selecting teams, creating leagues and challenging friends is all prompted within the game.

Tapping into gaming and fantasy sports is vital for Kwesé, this provides a unique way for the platform to engage with audiences across the continent. These strategic moves are indicative of Kwesé’s solid commitment to bringing the best in gaming and unparalleled sports programming that is both entertaining and interactive.

Register to play, receive the latest updates and stand a chance to win great prizes throughout the season!

For the latest sports news and for more on Kwesé Sports visit


Econet News Archive