Johannesburg 30 March 2017 – Africa’s newest trusted source for the best in sports programming Kwesé, has again managed to secure the best in sports rights for its viewers by adding the 2018 FIFA World Cup and the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017 to its impressive roster.
As the world’s best compete for football’s most prestigious title and living legends like Neymar, Messi, Ronaldo and Toure compete for their nations’ pride, Kwesé will give Africa a front row seat. Will Germany retain top honours or will 2018 be the year when an African nation hoists the trophy for the first time? Whatever the outcome, a record number of African sports fans will be able to catch all the action LIVE on Kwesé.
The broadcaster has secured exclusive free-to-air (FTA) rights for sub-Saharan Africa (excluding South Africa). Kwesé will broadcast the tournaments through its pan-African FTA channel Kwesé Free Sports (KFS) currently Africa’s largest FTA channel which boasts a potential audience in excess of 100million.
African viewers who would otherwise not have seen football’s greatest showcase will be able to view it live on KFS!
In addition to its exclusive FTA rights Kwesé has also secured non-exclusive Pay-TV rights for sub-Saharan Africa excluding South Africa. Kwesé’s broadcasting rights will include coverage on all Kwesé platforms including TV online and mobile platforms.
“There is no doubt that the FIFA World Cup is a highlight for sports fans all over the globe and Africa is home to some of the game’s biggest fans. We had to have these major sporting events on our platforms. With exclusive rights to broadcast the tournament free-to-air, we are staying true to our intention to deliver the best sporting programming to as many people as possible across the continent”, said Joseph Hundah, President and Chief Executive Officer, Econet Media.
“The exclusivity of our FTA rights for the 2018 FIFA World Cup and the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017 means Kwesé is the only platform on the continent licensed to bring live action from these two iconic events free of charge. We will be reaching even larger numbers by bringing this content to people who would otherwise not be able to afford it on pay platforms”.
“FIFA has decided to award media rights to Econet Media because we trust in their professionalism and capacity to provide a high-quality viewing experience through the Kwesé network. In Econet Media we believe to have found a reliable partner exploring new distribution paths, particularly on the digital side, working with Econet Media's growing Free To Air network Kwese Free Sports as well as established broadcasters in the region to give millions of fans an unforgettable experience of the 2017 and 2018 FIFA events,” said FIFA Chief Commercial Officer Philippe Le Floc’h.
As part of this deal fans will also be able to watch FIFA U-20 World Cup 2017, FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017, FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup 2017, FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup 2018 and FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup 2018 on all Kwesé platforms including Kwesé Free Sports, Kwesé Sports 1 & 2, KweséSports.com and the Kwesé App.
For more information on the FIFA deal and Kwesé please visit: www.kwesesports.com.
Kwesé TV has added fresh entertainment content from Sky Vision, the international distribution and production arm of Sky. Through the deal Kwesé TV has secured Pay-Tv and Catch Up rights to broadcast more than 20 first-to-market factual programmes from Sky Vision including Start Up You as well as Make Me a Millionaire Inventor UK and US.
Start Up You (10 x 60) follows a group of savvy, creative and ambitious young adults as they get down to business under the mentorship of billionaire founder and venture capitalist Tim Draper, for the chance to win a life changing investment to launch their own business.
Make Me a Millionaire UK (8X 60) & US (6 X60) goes in search of the best inventions that were never made in the UK and US, to give them and their inventors a second chance as they take their products from concept to reality, before a pitch to potential investors.
Both programmes will broadcast on Kwesé’s entrepreneurial and business channel Kwesé Inc. channel 405 on the Kwesé TV bouquet. Having launched in January this year, Kwesé TV is Africa’s newest Pay-Tv network which offers an array of superior entertainment, sport, news and current affairs programming for viewers across the continent. Premised on the concept of TV everywhere and anywhere, Kwesé TV offers multiplatform multiscreen viewing options which cut across linear, mobile and digital making its content accessible though free-to-air TV, mobile application, web streaming and pay TV.
Commenting on the deal, Jane Millichip, Sky Vision Managing Director said: “We’re thrilled that Sky Vision continues to expand its great catalogue of factual programming into new regions through partnerships with emerging platforms, such as Kwesé Inc. We're looking forward to supporting their growth and success in the years ahead.”
“We pride ourselves in sourcing the very best and premium content for our Kwesé owned channels,” shared President and Group Chief Executive Officer of Econet Media, Joseph Hundah. “Investing in and supporting Africa’s entrepreneurs is something we are extremely passionate about. These shows are an important part of our Kwesé Inc. channel which seeks to empower and inspire audiences in an engaging and thought-provoking way. Rich, entertaining and interactive programming is what our audiences are looking for and this is what we will continue to source and deliver.”
Kwesé TV may be a new player in the market but it is fast becoming a compelling source for premium entertainment programming including exclusive third party channels, first-to-market content and popular televisions shows to cater to every viewing appetite.
Kwesé’s satellite service is currently available in Ghana, Zambia and Rwanda with plans to expand the network across the continent. Viewers outside Kwesé’s launch markets can enjoy Kwesé TV’s diverse sports, entertainment and news programming by downloading the Kwesé App on any iPhone or Android device.
To find out how to subscribe to Kwesé visit www.kwese.com.
Johannesburg and London, 08 March 2017: Econet Media’s Kwesé Sports and ESPN today launched the exclusive ESPN channel on the Kwesé TV bouquet. This collaboration with Africa’s emerging home of premium sports marks the much anticipated return of ESPN to the African continent. The channel comes after the announcement of the game-changing long-term agreement between the two sports broadcasting powerhouses which confirmed Kwesé Sports as the home of ESPN in Africa.
The channel will deliver the most comprehensive sports coverage on the continent bringing the best in sports to African fans through live coverage of events from across the globe. Along with live sports, the channel introduces unique original programming including an African edition of the popular SportsCenter programme, an iconic and hugely popular show with fans across the world. Hosted by ESPN’s Philip Murphy, SportsCenter will cover the latest in sports news, highlights and updates in its signature fast-paced format, which has made it one of the most loved and awarded shows in television.
Since it launched in 2016, Kwesé Sports has continued to shake up the sports broadcasting industry with its unique offering that already boasts an impressive line-up which includes some of the best in American sports, including the NFL, NHL and the NBA. Through this collaboration with the global leader in sports media, Kwesé will exclusively bring thousands of hours of programming to audiences in 19 countries across sub-Saharan Africa.
The channel aims to be the first choice for fans wanting the latest news and updates and promises a diverse programming schedule designed to appeal to even the most discerning sports fan. The exciting launch programming for March includes; March Madness which tips off on the 15th, X Games action live from Norway, Indy Car 2017 and AFL.
In addition to launching the ESPN channel, Kwesé and ESPN will launch an African edition of the ESPN website and mobile app later this year. Leveraging ESPN’s position as the world’s leading digital sports brand and Kwesé’s pan-African reach and TV everywhere multiplatform distribution, these digital destinations will keep sports fans up-to-date with access to news, scores, features, video, live games and matches wherever they are -- putting the best in international sports in their pocket! KweseESPN.com and the new KweseESPN app, coupled with the Kwesé TV Everywhere App, will give its viewers 24/7 access to all the latest in sports from across the globe in a way that has never existed for African sports fans.
Commenting on the launch, President and CEO of Econet Media Joseph Hundah said “This is a real game changer. In ESPN we have a collaborator that enhances our offering to our viewers. We have always aimed to deliver premium sports programming and we continue to bring the best to our sports fans, through our acquisitions of top-shelf sports rights and our investment in our platforms and in how we deliver our programming whether through Pay-TV, Free-to-air or digital mobile platforms. The launch of this channel is significant as it cements our place as a leading provider of sports programming in Africa”.
Added Russell Wolff, Executive Vice President and Managing Director, ESPN International, “We are thrilled to be working with a fellow innovator like Econet to bring ESPN and SportsCenter back to television screens in Africa and expanding the Kwesé and ESPN digital connection with fans. This launch is just the beginning of how these two great companies will serve fans Africa.”
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.
Post launch programming schedule for March includes exclusive broadcast of:
- March Madness - With the regular season out of the way 68 teams will bid to be crowned NCAA Basketball Champions. Starting 15 March, the month of March will see teams whittled down through the Sweet Sixteen, Elite Eight and Final 4 until a Championship which will be broadcast on April 4!
- X Games - Norway: The event takes place in Lillehammer, Norway and features some of the greatest freestyle skiers and snowboarders of our time. The world class action sports action and commentary showcases the skills of many of the world’s top winter sports athletes in front of huge crowds, creating a fantastic viewing experience.
- Indy Car 2017: The Grand Prix of St Petersburg is the first of 17 stops on this year’s IndyCar Calendar. Frenchman Simon Pagenaud will be out to defend his driver’s championship, as they tackle the street circuit on March 12.
- AFL: Thanks to ESPN, Aussie Rules football is back with a bang as the season opens on March 23rd with matches taking place in iconic venues like the MCG in Melbourne. Eighteen teams go in pursuit of a place in the Grand Final and the chance to take home the title on September 30.
- Original Programming: In addition to the original SportsCenter programme, the channel 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. Kwesé 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 the Premier League, Formula One, Cricket Australia, Aviva Premiership Rugby, The Spanish Copa Del Rey, Brazilian football, Extreme Fighting Championship and so much more.
Kwesé / Econet:
Reatile Tekateka Reatile@econetmedia.com, +27 11 996 5600
Paul Melvin firstname.lastname@example.org, +1 860 766 5069