Kwese TV calls it quits after inviting administratorsIndications of a financial crisis were already apparent early last year after reports of delayed payments to content providers.
August 6—Zimbabwean-based Kwese TV’s desperate efforts to stay on air have finally ended with an announcement early this week to close down the budget pay-tv service previously available in 10 other African countries including Uganda.
A brainchild of Zimbabwe’s wealthiest man, Strive Masiyiwa, Kwese was supposed to be a cheaper alternative to South Africa’s Multichoice and its dominate range of bouquets, but Kwese’s pockets were not deep enough to sustain the challenge.
The station halted operations on Tuesday, but management had issued a statement on Sunday. ‘With the prevailing economic conditions in Zimbabwe, and the current business operating environment –characterized by an acute shortage of foreign currency –sustaining Kwese and Kwese Satellite Service was no longer viable’, the statement read in part.
However, indications of a financial crisis were already apparent early last year after reports of delayed payments to content providers and a reluctance by investors to inject more money into the venture managed under Econet Media. Last month, Econet Media went into voluntary administration and invited Ernst&Young to help come up with payment schedule for its creditors.
For its Zimbabwean subscribers, the company offered a sweetener, ‘In recognition of your unwavering support Econet Media is offering you airtime equivalent to the purchase value of the Kwese Play Roku device you acquired. You are free to use the airtime for all your voice or data transactions. The airtime shall be valid for a period of thirty (30) days from the date of credit’.