Kwesé has launched five FTA TV channels in South Africa, including a high definition sports channel. ICASA awarded Kwesé with its broadcasting license along with a radio frequency licence.
Zolile Ntukwana, group executive for regulatory affairs at Econet Group said, this makes Kwesé Free TV a majority South African black-owned broadcaster.
Econet, which also owns Liquid Telecom, holds a 20% stake in Kwesé Free TV. Royal Bafokeng Metix, which is part of Royal Bafokeng Holdings, owns a 45% stake in the new broadcaster. The remaining 35% is owned by Mosong Capital.
Econet operates Kwesé in 18 countries in Africa, excluding South Africa, and holds the pan-African free-to-air rights for several sporting events.
“The South African shareholders of Kwesé Free TV will be getting the benefits of the rights bought by Econet outside of South Africa,” Ntukwana said. In the long run, this will enable the acquisition costs for TV channels to spread over 19 regions where Kwesé is aired.
While the goal is to provide a compelling free-to-air sports channel for South Africa, Ntukwana said it is important for people to understand that they will not be competing directly with SuperSport.