Archive - October 2016

 

JOHANNESBURG AND LONDON, 25 OCTOBER 2016:  Econet Media’s Kwesé and ESPN today announced a groundbreaking media collaboration in Africa.

The deal will deliver the most comprehensive sports coverage in Africa, offering a wide range of sports and thousands of hours of programming. African audiences will benefit from industry-leading content from the world’s leading sports media company in ESPN, in conjunction with Kwesé’s premium sports offering, while Kwesé’s pan-African reach and its TV everywhere multiplatform distribution capability will deliver the content to viewers through TV and digital platforms making it accessible to sports fans wherever they are.

The deal comes into effect in early 2017 with the launch of an ESPN channel in 19 countries, which is exclusive to Kwesé. ESPN will also produce daily SportsCenter updates for Africa, bringing the iconic sports news and highlights brand to the channel.

In addition, by mid-2017, ESPN and Kwesé will together launch an African edition of the ESPN website and mobile app. The new KweseESPN.com, and its accompanying app, will combine ESPN’s industry-leading coverage of global sports and world-class digital platform with local African sports news, analysis and perspectives from Kwesé. ESPN and Kwesé’s teams will feature many of the world’s best sports journalists and provide up-to-the-minute news and analysis on sports from around the globe with a unique African perspective. The site will also feature live scores and data for all major sports events as well as video news and highlights from ESPN and the Kwesé Sports channels.

With the conclusion of this agreement Kwesé adds NCAA American football and basketball to its existing broadcast rights for the NFL, NHL and the NBA, making it the home of American sports in Africa.

Speaking about the significance of the agreement, Joseph Hundah Chief Executive Officer of Econet Media said, “Ultimately our goals are the same, to bring fans the best in global sports. The synergies between Kwesé and ESPN allow us to achieve that goal by leveraging our collective ability to deliver premium African and global sports programming to sports fans across Africa. We look forward to collaborating with ESPN in Africa and providing African sports fans with access to global sports like never before.”

Added Russell Wolff, Executive Vice President and Managing Director, ESPN International, “ESPN’s focus around the world is simple: to serve sports fans. This long-term collaboration across television and digital media will do just that -- serve millions of sports fans across Africa with exceptional products, content and coverage. We are very excited about the opportunities that lie ahead as we bring ESPN’s great content, including SportsCenter, and decades of experience in sports media together with one of Africa’s most dynamic and vibrant companies.”

African viewers can look forward to thousands of hours of ESPN content which will be licensed to Kwesé. Including both live sports and award-winning original programming, the content will appear across the ESPN and Kwesé Sport channels.

Key programming in the agreement includes: 

  • Live Sports: U.S. college football (including the College Football Playoff and comprehensive coverage of the college football bowl season); major U.S. college basketball (including the March Madness® NCAA Championship Tournaments); NCAA college sport championships from baseball, softball, lacrosse, soccer; Boxing (including Premier Boxing Champions and ESPN’s Big Fights Library); the Verizon IndyCar Series (including the iconic Indy 500), X Games, Special Olympics World Games coverage and more. 
  • Original Programming: In addition to the original SportsCenter program, the agreement will include ESPN Films Award-Winning 30 For 30 documentaries, and a range of additional studio programming such as ESPN FC, Pardon The Interruption, Around The Horn, College Gameday and more. Econet also already licenses NFL- related programming – including NFL Live, NFL Countdown and more – from ESPN, as part of a TV rights deal with the NFL, brokered by ESPN Media Distribution

Kwesé also features coverage of English Premier League, Formula One, international Cricket, Aviva Premiership Rugby, The Spanish Copa Del Rey, Brazilian football, Extreme Fighting Championship and so much more. 

 

- New NBA.com/Africa Launches with

More Highlights, News, Stats and Original Content than Ever Before -

 - Website to Feature Select Live NBA Games for the First Time -

JOHANNESBURG, Oct. 24, 2016 – The National Basketball Association (NBA) and Kwesé Sports, a division of Econet Media, announced the launch of www.nba.com/africa, the NBA’s new official online destination in sub-Saharan Africa.  The new destination will provide fans with the most expansive online NBA coverage ever available to fans in sub-Saharan Africa, including video highlights, news, stats and scores, original digital content, and for the first time, select live NBA games. 

The new website will serve as the premier destination for coverage of African NBA players, from daily highlights and game results to full-length written and video feature stories.  Additionally, the website will highlight NBA events and grassroots initiatives across the continent, including Jr. NBA programs and Basketball without Borders Africa camps. 

“Our new official destination in partnership with Kwesé Sports will greatly expand our digital footprint across Africa,” said NBA Vice President and Managing Director for Africa, Amadou Gallo Fall.  “The website will provide fans in sub-Saharan Africa with more digital content than ever before, including localized content about our initiatives throughout the continent.”

“As we add new programming to our portfolio, we want to ensure we acquire the best in global sports content,” said Econet Media CEO Joseph Hundah.  “We are excited to be the new home of everything NBA by bringing basketball fans across the continent up-to-the-minute live games, highlights and news through our multiple platforms in the most convenient and accessible way possible,” he concluded.  

In addition to hosting the new official online destination, Kwesé platforms in sub-Saharan Africa will broadcast the 2016-17 NBA season, which tips-off Tuesday, Oct. 25.

The NBA has a long history in Africa with a record 10 African players on opening-night rosters for the 2015-16 NBA season and five African players selected in the 2016 NBA Draft.  Through NBA Cares, 64 places where kids and families can live, learn or play have been created in Africa, and Basketball without Borders Africa has been held 14 times.  The league opened an African headquarters in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 2010.  On August 1, 2015, Ellis Park Arena in Johannesburg hosted NBA Africa Game 2015, the first NBA game on the continent, in a Team Africa versus Team World format.  For more information on the NBA in Africa, fans can visit www.NBA.com/Africa; Facebook.com/NBAAfrica and Twitter @NBA_Africa

For more information on Kwesé Sports, log on to www.kwesesports.com and like Facebook.com/KweseSports.

Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) and Liquid Telecom have agreed to enter into a joint venture.

The agreement will see BPC lease excess optical fibres from its network to Liquid Telecom, creating a new telecoms network provider with extensive reach across Botswana.

The agreement was signed by Jacob Raleru, CEO at BPC, and Nic Rudnick, CEO at Liquid Telecom, at a ceremony held in Gaborone.

The joint venture, which will operate under the name Liquid Telecom Botswana, will enable BPC to make more effective use of its existing assets, while allowing Liquid Telecom to better serve the network needs of its wholesale and enterprise customers in the region.

BPC owns and operates an optical fibre cable network that is embedded on some of its high voltage transmission lines. This fibre network will be commercialised for the first time in order to provide networks services across the country.

BPC Board of Directors approved the commercialisation of its network in March 2016, and following a period of competitive bidding, Liquid Telecom was selected as the preferred partner.

The use of BPC’s infrastructure will be granted to Liquid Telecom Botswana under an Indefeasible Right of Use Agreement (IRUA). Rather than taking any rental payments, the capital value of the IRUA will be used to purchase BPC’s equity stake, which is 42.5%. Liquid Telecom will be the majority stakeholder in Liquid Telecom Botswana.

Liquid Telecom Botswana will be making further announcements in due course.

Press Release 17 October, 2016: Kwesé Sports, Econet Media’s premium sports content platform has signed an exclusive three-year deal with Africa Netball. The agreement gives Kwesé Sports sole broadcast rights across sub-Saharan Africa including coverage of the 4 Nations Event, the East Africa Tournament and the 2017 Africa Netball championship amongst others starting November 1, 2016.  

Netball enthusiasts from all over the continent can now access premium netball programming across all Kwesé platforms. Arguably the most popular women’s sport in Africa, netball has historically been neglected by broadcasters. By leveraging Kwesé’s Pan-African reach, this agreements means that netball will be more accessible than ever before.

The popularity of the sport is evident in the performance of Africa in international competitions. African countries represent some of the best in international netball talent, with South Africa ranked fifth, Malawi sixth, Uganda 11th, Zambia 16th, Botswana 20th, Zimbabwe 21st and Swaziland 30th in the world according to the International Netball Federation.  

Kwesé continues to carve a niche for itself in African sports broadcasting through its exclusive and diverse sports portfolio. “We are building a hub for premium sports in Africa. Our Kwesé platforms provide access to the best in global and African sports in a way that is inclusive and affordable”, said Joseph Hundah, CEO Econet Media.

 

Kwesé Sports currently has the exclusive pan-African rights for some of the most sought after content in the world which includes the EPL, NBA, Formula One, EFC, The Spanish Copa Del Rey, English Rugby and Brazilian soccer to name a few.

“This is an important step in the development of Africa Netball. Getting some of our games broadcast will assist us grow the sport further not only in our dominant market - Southern Africa - but new territories in Sub Saharan Africa. We are excited at the endless possibilities”, added Tebogo Lebotse Sebego, President Africa Netball.

From 1 November 2016 netball fans can access the latest action on the Kwesé Free Sports channel or by downloading the Kwesé App. For the latest sports news and for more on Kwesé Sports visit www.kwesesports.com

Notes to Editors:

About Econet Media

A subsidiary company of the globally networked Econet Group founded by Executive Chairman Strive Masiyiwa, Econet Media is a dynamic content business driving the development of Kwesé, a fresh new television brand. Created for Sub-Saharan African audiences, Kwesé is inspired by the ‘TV everywhere’ revolution. As such, a range of Kwesé products will be made available on satellite and internet based platforms, including video-on-demand and mobile options. Focused

on providing premium, affordable, exclusive viewing choices, Kwesé products will offer sports, music, movies, series, kids, lifestyle, faith, news and other programming. Consumers will also benefit from the infrastructural strength of Econet Media sister companies, Liquid Telecom and Econet Wireless. Their expertise and capacity in the areas of mobile and fixed telephony services, broadband, internet, satellite and fibre optic networks will be utilized to establish Kwesé products.  In addition, Econet Media have invested intensively to build its own operational assets. www.kwese.com.

Media Contacts:

For Econet Media | Kwese

Reatile Tekateka | Econet Media,

(m) +27 83 374 2601

Email: reatile@econetmedia.com  

 

Press Release 7 October, 2016: Kwesé Sports, Econet Media’s premium sports content platform, has an exclusive, five-year deal with the world’s largest esports company and the global industry leader ESL. The agreement gives Kwesé rights to use and distribute ESL content and host events across Africa. This is ESL’s first partnership with a TV broadcaster in the African continent, further cementing the company’s commitment to geographical expansion and bringing esports to the living rooms of millions of people worldwide. Through this partnership, Kwesé and ESL will bring the first ever continental esports championship to Africa. In addition to bringing live events to the continent, Kwesé will also be launching the continent’s first 24/7 esports channel in the coming months.

Enthusiasts from all over the continent are already taking part in international tournaments which draw record crowds and online viewership to signature events in the Intel® Extreme Masters, ESL One and ESL Pro League circuits.  This partnership creates an opportunity for African esports fans to witness live events as well as experience the action online.

This follows hot-on-the-heels of Kwesé’s announcement of its inaugural African Challenge Esport (ACE) gaming tournament currently underway at the rAge Expo in Johannesburg South Africa. 

“We are committed to making our platforms the home for esports and gaming in Africa. This partnership with ESL is an important development for the nascent African esports market which continues to grow in popularity. We look forward to realising the full potential of this partnership in future” says Joseph Hundah, Chief Executive Officer| Econet Media

On choosing Kwesé and the potential of African esports, ESL’s Managing Director and Head of esports at Modern Times Group Malte Barth said “We are extremely excited to have partnered with Kwesé. We chose them because their ambitions for this market mirror ours and their focus around the esports community in their markets. We have seen the increasing viewership and community engagement across the continent, especially in South Africa and we know that we can grow and better serve the esports community through tailored events and local content based on our globally leading eSports footprint”

For more on Kwesé Sports visit: www.kwesesports.com

Notes to Editors

About Econet Media

A subsidiary company of the globally networked Econet Group founded by Executive Chairman Strive Masiyiwa, Econet Media is a dynamic content business driving the development of Kwesé, a fresh new television brand. Created for Sub-Saharan African audiences, Kwesé is inspired by the ‘TV everywhere’ revolution. As such, a range of Kwesé products will be made available on satellite and internet based platforms, including video-on-demand and mobile options. Focused

on providing premium, affordable, exclusive viewing choices, Kwesé products will offer sports, music, movies, series, kids, lifestyle, faith, news and other programming. Consumers will also benefit from the infrastructural strength of Econet Media sister companies, Liquid Telecom and Econet Wireless. Their expertise and capacity in the areas of mobile and fixed telephony services, broadband, internet, satellite and fibre optic networks will be utilized to establish Kwesé products.  In addition, Econet Media have invested intensively to build its own operational assets. www.kwese.com.

About ESL

ESL, a part of the international digital entertainment group MTG, is the world's largest esports company, leading the industry across the most popular video games with numerous online and offline competitions. It operates high profile, branded international and national leagues and tournaments such as the Intel® Extreme Masters, ESL One, ESL National Championships and other top tier stadium-size events, as well as grassroots amateur cups, leagues and matchmaking systems. ESL covers a broad field of services in gaming technology, event management, advertising and television production, fully catering to the needs of the esports ecosystem. With offices in North America, Germany, Russia, France, Poland, Spain, China, and partners in many other countries, it has a truly global footprint (www.eslgaming.com).  

Media Contacts

For Econet Media | Kwese

Reatile Tekateka | Econet Media,

(m) +27 83 374 2601

Email: reatile@econetmedia.com  

For ESL

Anna Rozwandowicz

(m) +49 177 378 7070

Email: a.rozwandowicz@eslgaming.com

Press Releases Archive