Image Caption: Bradley Beal (Washington Wizards/Team World) at NBA Africa Game at Ellis Park Arena in Johannesburg, South Africa on August 1, 2015

Pause: “Compete with Intensity, Lead with Integrity, and Inspire Play” – NBA

More great news! Few of us in Africa had the opportunity to watch the pioneering talents of the amazing Hakeem Abdul Olajuwon (‘The Dream’ from Nigeria, inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame) and Dikembe Mutombo (an eight-time All-Star player from the DRC). Over the years, millions upon millions of fans could watch them play on TV in their prime, but most of us living in their home continent of Africa missed out…

This is all about to change!

Last month I shared the announcement that Kwesé Sports was awarded free-to-air broadcasting rights for the English Premier League in Sub-Saharan Africa. Today I’m excited to tell you that we’ve signed another exclusive big name in international sport — a multiyear partnership with the National Basketball Association (NBA).

This new deal, the largest ever for the NBA in Africa, will see Econet Media become the official broadcaster of the NBA in Sub Saharan Africa!

This means NBA content will be offered across our digital and mobile assets, including the much-anticipated Kwesé viewing platforms and its sports offering, Kwesé Sports!

We’re so proud to be involved with a renowned brand such as the NBA that shares our vision for sport in Africa, and our values as a company. The NBA’s trademark is “Compete with Intensity, Lead with Integrity, and Inspire Play.” That’s a winning goal for all of us to aim for!

Now basketball as a sport began in a snowy state in the USA in 1891, where a local athletic director was trying to think of an exciting game that could be played indoors (in a very cold climate) in a small space. He was looking for a sport that didn’t rely as much on strength as on agility and skill. The story goes that he thought of an idea – how about a game throwing soccer balls into two “goals” made of peach baskets, strung up on a wall with wire? Innovation! Dr. James Naismith is credited as basketball’s “inventor” back in the day. Now it’s a multibillion dollar sport!

Beginning within the 2016-2017 season, African basketball fans young and old will be able to enjoy a feast of their favourite sport, and this time it will be more convenient and accessible.

Kwesé Sports entertainment won’t be limited to live games. We’ll also produce a host of original NBA content to support our coverage of the NBA. Kwesé Sports will also carry the League’s 24/7 dedicated channel, NBA TV.

In the millennial year 2000, sports fan Nelson Mandela said: “Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair.”

A gold-medal-winning Olympic athlete (and the first foreign-born player to win the NBA’s “Most Valuable Player,”) Olajuwon says his parents taught he and his siblings the importance of discipline and “to be honest, work hard, respect our elders, and believe in ourselves…”

I hope the next Luol Deng (South Sudan), Serge Ibaka (Congo Brazzaville) or Nneka Ogwumike (Nigeria) will be inspired by seeing their heroes perform daily on one of the world’s greatest sports stages. Stay tuned for more updates on Kwesé Sports onlineéSports_NBA



by 16 Replies

About Strive Masiyiwa

Strive Masiyiwa is the Founder and Executive Chairman of Econet, a diversified global telecommunications group with operations and investments in over 15 countries. His business interests also include renewable energy, financial services, media and hospitality. Masiyiwa serves on a number of international boards, including Unilever, Rockefeller Foundation, the Council on Foreign Relations’ Global Advisory Board, the Africa Progress Panel, the UN Secretary General's Advisory Board for Sustainable Energy, Morehouse College, Hilton Foundation's Humanitarian Prize Jury and the Kenjin-Tatsujin International Advisory Council. He is one of the founders, with Sir Richard Branson, of the global think tank, the Carbon War Room, and a founding member of the Global Business Coalition on Education. Masiyiwa took over the Chairmanship of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) from Kofi Annan. He is also Chair of the Micronutrient Initiative, a global organization focused on ending child hunger and improving nutrition. In 2012, Masiyiwa was invited by President Obama to address leaders at the Camp David G-8 Summit on how to increase food production and end hunger in parts of Africa. In 2014, Masiyiwa was selected to Fortune Magazine’s list of the “World’s 50 Greatest Leaders”. As a philanthropist, he is a member of the Giving Pledge, and his contributions to education, health and development have been widely recognized. Masiyiwa and his wife finance the Higher Life Foundation, which provides scholarships to over 42,000 African orphans. In 2015, he was the recipient of the International Rescue Committee’s Freedom Award and was presented with a UN Foundation Global Leadership Award for the work of the Africa Against Ebola Solidarity Trust, which he chairs and helped establish to fund the deployment of African healthcare workers to combat the outbreak in West Africa.

16 thoughts on “Pause: “Compete with Intensity, Lead with Integrity, and Inspire Play” – NBA

  1. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought 1.
    Kwese Tv, will be available in every single country in sub-Saharan Africa. It will not all be sport; in a few weeks we will start to unveil some of our key content in entertainment and education as well.
    The first countries to offer service are those where we are given licenses to operate. I’m pleased to also tell you that many countries have already licensed us.

  2. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought 2.
    One of the biggest businesses in our group is a company called Liquid Telecom. Many of you may know this company for its pioneering work in building fibre optic broadband networks in Africa. What many people don’t know is that when I started this company 17 years ago, it specialized in installation of small satellite dishes for companies, throughout Africa. Many businesses, particularly banks and mining groups rely on our satellite services to communicate. We are easily the largest provider of such services in Africa.
    What does this show you?
    1. We already have the most extensive infrastructure and capability to provide services to any part of Africa.
    2. We are repurposing assets and capability that we already have to enter a new market.
    What assets do you have?
    —don’t say “nothing”—you have enough—remember the post on the “Rod of Moses”!

  3. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought 3.
    We also secured the rights for the “women’s basketball”(WNBA). We need to move away from the notion that sport is just for men. Some of the finest athletes in the world are women. We will show a lot of women’s sport.

  4. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    In the TV business “content is king”:
    In the business of tv, the most important thing is “content”:
    The most important content is what we call “premium exclusive”.
    The most expensive content is live sports programming.
    The most expensive sports programming is found in the United States, and Europe, where broadcasters can pay billions just for the right to broadcast a sport every season.
    The NBA basketball is one of the most “premium exclusive” rights in the world of sport.

    These “rights” are sold by the Sports League on behalf of the clubs, for periods of 3-5 years and ONLY the winner is allowed to broadcast the games. You can only bid for rights of a sport when they expire.
    Tv shows and movies are also “sold” in much the same way as sport. Each episode of a tv series that you might be watching costs the broadcaster a lot of money and some can cost millions for an episode.
    Kwese TV already has some of the most sought after “premium exclusive content” for both sports and entertainment.

  5. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    The business model of TV:
    When you start any kind of business it is extremely important to understand how money is made in that business. There are many people who start a business without fully understanding how money is made in that industry.
    When you are developing your Business Plan, a key ingredient is what we call the “revenue model”. A revenue model must be realistic based on very careful analysis, and an appreciation of the reality.
    Many people fail because they actually don’t understand how money is really made in the business they are pursuing!
    In the business of television there are two ways that money is made:
    1. Free To Air: In this model the tv provider broadcasts for free, and relies on advertising for revenue. In many African countries, the size of the “ad revenue” available is generally small, and in turn limits the amount of money tv broadcasters can make. This is also the reason why they cannot afford good quality programming.
    Many state broadcasters fall into this category.
    2. PayTv: this is the subscription model which has been pioneered by operators like Sky, DSTV, Zuku, and others. Here customers pay on a monthly basis for their service.

    As an entrepreneur you must always be keenly interested in how different businesses actually make money. This should be based on proper understanding rather than superficial understanding.

  6. Sam Ajadi

    Hi Strive,

    Simply Amazing! I came across this really exciting news about Econet-NBA partnership in Sub-Saharan Africa. By way of introduction, I am a Telecoms Analyst at research and consultancy IHS Technology in London.

    As a TMT Analyst and a basketball fanatic, I believe the deal will bring tremendous value to hoop fans on the continent. I rang Econet’s office in London yesterday to request a briefing on this development. I’m looking for to hearing back from them.

    Kind Regards,

    Sam Ajadi
    TMT Analyst, Sub-Saharan Africa
    IHS Technology, London. UK

  7. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Chinonso writes:

    I hope Kwese Tv will not only show European and US Sports content but extend a hand of fellowship to the Africa sport platforms especially the various Football League and CAF Championships…

    My reply:
    As I pointed out to you, the RIGHTS to broadcast are owned by the League in question, and sold to broadcasters only when they expire. If you do not see us broadcast a particular league, it will be because the rights are currently held exclusively by another broadcaster.
    Some of the African sports rights are either not available, or are difficult to access because of “challenges” associated with those who control them. [I’m sure you know what I mean!]
    Whenever rights become available, we will fiercely compete for those rights with all tenacity that comes from Grace.

  8. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Tv rights pay for the big salaries of your favorite sports stars:
    A football club like Manchester United makes its money in many different ways. This includes selling tickets at the gate, and as well as charging for advertising on things like shirts worn by the players.
    By far and away the biggest source of money comes from tv rights. These are sold on behalf of the clubs by their sports league, and then the money is shared. The rights are sold on a national or regional basis. Rights for Africa, are usually sold as continental or regional packages.

  9. Lombe Ng'andu

    What do I admire most about you Sir??? Your mind, the way you think and gather and direct knowledge… You are such as an inspiration… This time I spend reading your posts will not be a waste a, you will hear my testimony, it’s already begun…

    Still cannot(not able to) like and comment on your Facebook page.

    Thank you Sir, you are such an inspiration and an eye opener…

  10. Olippa

    Those where the problem which i had with Econet thank you and you should promote your oldest customers who bought their lines in 2007 and below all of them i just want to say what my heart wants


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