Liquid Telecom sister company Econet Media looks set to bring a fresh injection of competition into South Africa’s pay-television market, announcing on Thursday that it will introduce its Kwesé Play video streaming service to the country and launch a Roku box with Netflix bundled.
The service, which is aimed mainly fibre-to-the-home, ADSL and LTE broadband users, will leverage the fibre backbone network operated by Liquid, which acquired Neotel earlier this year in a R6.5bn deal.
Rather than building its own video-on-demand business, Econet Media has built a platform to house “some of the biggest names in VOD globally”, it said.
Kwesé is the exclusive African partner for Roku, and the company will offer an own-branded Roku box to South African consumers. The box will cost R1 599 and be available from a number of retailers, including Incredible Connection.
It has also announced the launch of a long-term partnership with Netflix for sub-Saharan Africa. As part of the partnership, Kwesé will develop partnerships with telecommunications operators to distribute Kwesé TV and Netflix. It is also working to bring other premium content providers to the platform.
“The first partnership activity is launching the Netflix service on the Kwesé Play streaming box today,” the company said in a statement. “Kwesé Play will launch initially in South Africa and will roll out across Sub-Saharan Africa.”
Kwesé Play also has streaming deals with Iflix, YouTube, RedBull TV, Revolt, TED and HappyKids2. It will offer over 100 VOD services in all, including the ESPN sports channel.
- Want to know more? Listen to the podcast interview with Kwesé Play CEO Ryan Solovei