Econet acquires English Premiership rights

HARARE - Econet, through their Kwese Sports platform, has acquired the rights to screen free-to-air English Premier League (EPL) matches for three seasons starting with the 2016/17 campaign.

“We are very pleased that Econet Media has chosen to invest in the package of free-to-air broadcasting rights that we have made available in sub-Saharan Africa,”  EPL executive chairman Richard Scudamore announced yesterday.

“Premier League clubs enjoy passionate support across sub-Saharan Africa and these rights are important to ensuring that as many fans as possible can follow and enjoy our competition.”

The agreement is for the three seasons and Econet will make available one Saturday afternoon EPL match live on a free-to-air basis each weekend of the season.

The package will also include weekly preview and review shows and will be available in 50 countries across the region.

Econet Media CEO Joseph Hundah said: “England’s Premier League is a globally prestigious sporting competition, one that is deeply loved by millions of African sports fans. As such, we are committed to obtaining these rights and have invested significantly to acquire them.

“We want to make this League available to fans across sub-Saharan Africa and so, through Kwese partners and other platforms, we hope to widen access to this property.”

Econet launched the Kwese last December with their first premium product being the Spanish Copa Del Rey which is the equivalent of the English FA Cup.

Viewers Across the continent can access the service via the website which means customers can watch the full game for free and will not be charged any bandwidth costs whatsoever.

Kwese is the sports division of the Kwese TV, a pay TV service that will be launched by Econet Global, the parent company of Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, later this year.

Customers can also watch live games using their smartphones, tablets or computers.

Kwese TV will also offer thousands of hours of exclusive entertainment including original series and movies.

Announcing the new service last December, Econet said Kwese TV will focus on “value for money, premium and exclusive content.”

This means that Kwese TV will be looking to secure content which is not available to any other operator.

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