Tag Archives: Zachary Wazara

Pay TV in focus at NITV

Emeka Mba, Bamidele Adetunji, Funmi Adenaike, Zachary Wazara & Lindsey Oliver

The first panel session at the Nigeria International Television (NITV) Summit focused on the challenges and opportunities facing the country’s pay TV industry.

Addressing the issue of sustainability and growth in the pay TV business in Nigeria, panelists discussed the challenges and ways in which these can be overcome.

Panelists included Funmi Adenaike, general manager of Play TV; Emeka Mba, former NBC director general and now CEO of Questechmedia Consulting; Bamidele Adetunji, CEO at Montage Media Group; and Zachary Wazara, CEO of Kwese TV. The session was moderated by Lindsey Oliver, CEO of Yanga TV.

The conversation kicked off with an evaluation of the industry as a whole and how it has evolved so far. Panelists agreed that rapid development of technology poses a challenge for pay TV platforms.

“The internet is changing consumer behaviour and business models,” said Wazara.

Meanwhile, despite agreeing that other industries are threatening the growth of the TV industry, Adetunji stated that the challenge to sustainability is a lack of proper recording technology and archiving.

“There was time I wanted to produce an epic Nigerian movie but was told it was unavailable because a recording had been done over the master recording, which basically means it no longer exists.

“And this leads me to ask, who has the rights to TV series like [classic Nigerian drama] Village Headmaster? Where are our formats? Where are our records? There are no local formats, yet international formats still exist,” said Adetunji.

Addressing the issue of telcos encroaching on the TV industry, Mba stated: “There are no level playing fields in an industry that is hugely dependent on technology and data to operate.”

Buttressing his point, Adenaike added: “There are enormous challenges in the industry and some pay TV companies are forced to deliver certain kinds of content because they are working with what is available, which is not much.”

Speaking about the way forward, Adetunji suggested that Nigeria should establish a commercial satellite platform so local pay TV channels don’t have to form partnerships with international satellites and pay “astronomical” amounts to air content. This is especially true when consumers do not understand a pay TV channel’s need for high prices because all they want is content at a low cost.

tagged in: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Kwesé TV aims to reinvent African TV

Sub-Saharan pay TV platform Kwesé TV aims to change the narrative of Africa’s media, according to a top exec at its parent company Econet Media.

Zachary Wazara

Zachary Wazara, executive director at Econet, revealed that Kwesé is focused on ensuring Africa can access content without having to rely on pay TV.

“The free-to-air [FTA] business is intended to extend TV’s reach in Africa, recognising the fact that not everyone can afford pay TV. In Nigeria, for the Fifa World Cup, our [FTA channel] Kwesé Free Sports has signed up with Broadcasting Organization of Nigeria so that instead of 4.5 million pay customers watching the World Cup, we can now take the World Cup to between 100 million and 120 million people,” he said.

According to Wazara, Kwesé is changing the way people see pay TV, ensuring its sports channel is available to everyone on not just satellite TV but terrestrial as well.

In the past, Africa’s sports programming has been available on pay TV, but Kwesé Free Sports “gives the average African an opportunity to watch Formula 1, NBA and boxing at the highest level, to watch every single sport that is out there,” whereas before they were restricted to soccer, he said.

“Our objective is to begin to introduce different types of sports at international level, so we can also inspire our kids, by saying, ‘It’s not just about running, but more. Like tennis and rugby.’ Which is primarily why we introduced Kwesé Free Sports in 23 countries,” Wazara explained.

“Kwesé TV, which is our satellite business, competes against other brands that you know out there in the market. In Nigeria, our satellite TV has got the best clarity.

“Our objective is to do with satellite TV what was done with prepaid mobile – ensuring that anyone out there can have satellite television.”

In related news, Kwesé has just launched mobile app Kwesé iflix, which allows for flexible in-app subscriptions.

The subscription plans include three days for N250, seven days for N500 and 30 days for N1,000. Customers who download the app now get an opportunity to view 32 World Cup matches for free.

tagged in: , , , , , ,

Kwesé opens customer experience centre

Sub-Saharan pay TV platform Kwesé TV has opened a customer care centre in Lagos.

Zachary Wazara

Speaking at the centre’s launch, Zachary Wazara, executive director of Kwesé TV parent Econet Media, said the ‘experience centre’ would enhance the company’s retail arm and aid its 600-plus retailers. He added that this was especially important amid the interest in the ongoing FIFA World Cup football tournament, with games airing on Kwesé.

Kwesé TV general manager Elizabeth Amkpa said: “Our experience centre is a one-stop shop designed to support our multi-platform offering delivered via satellite TV, mobile and digital platforms. Whether you are interested in purchasing a Kwesé TV decoder, renewing your subscription or downloading the Kwesé TV or Kwesé iflix apps, we are here for you.”

The centre also features a ‘Free Zone’ that invites customers get a feel for Kwesé products in an interactive atmosphere.

Kwesé TV launched in Nigeria in October 2017. It is one of the three TV platforms in Nigeria that have exclusive rights to the World Cup, the others being SuperSports (on DSTV and GOtv) and StarTimes.

tagged in: , ,