Kwesé Free Sports comes to Ghana16 Dec 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 www.kwesesports.com
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.
- 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.
Contact: Lee-Roy Chetty
Cell: +27 71 330 1073