Econet Media’s Kwesé TV pay television business has been placed in administration as a result of the challenges it has faced in several countries.
The news comes soon after subscribers to the Kwesé Play streaming platform received a message on their screens saying Econet has dropped it for technical reasons.
Consequently, customers no longer have access to its streaming service, Kwesé Iflix, according to reports.
In an effort to revive the business, the administration process will be handled and managed by accountants Ernst & Young, said CEO Joseph Hundah.
“Kwesé’s free-to-air business was too small to sustain the financial burden of its satellite operations, which led to the decision to negotiate with creditors,” he said.
“The company struggled with the foreign currency restrictions in Zimbabwe, who stopped recognising the US dollar, South African Rand and other foreign currencies as legal tender in June in a bid to curb black-market trading.
“The group’s inability to exit money out of Zimbabwe has had an impact on the business.”
He added that Kwesé TV’s FTA business, Kwesé Free TV, which received a licence from communications regulator Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) in March, would continue operating in the rest of Africa, and that no other business in the Econet group is affected by the administration process.
ICASA has given Kwesé 24 months to launch the service, a time frame set to elapse in March 2021. Other shareholders in Kwesé Free TV include Royal Bafokeng Metix (45%) and Mosong Capital (35%).
Econet Media is owned by Strive Masiyiwa. Roku-powered Kwesé Play launched in 2018.