Econet group has signed a deal with the Barclays Premier League to show premier league matches for free. Yesterday, the Premier League announced that Econet Media, owned by Strive Masiyiwa, a Zimbabwean tycoon, struck a deal valid for the 2016/17 and 2018/19 seasons.
“The Premier League is pleased to announce that Econet Media has acquired the package of free-to-air broadcasting rights that it makes available in sub-Saharan Africa. The agreement is for the three seasons 2016/17 to 2018/19 and Econet, through its Kwese Sports platform, will make available one Saturday afternoon Premier League match live on a free-to-air basis each weekend of the season. The matches, along with weekly preview and review shows, will be available in 50 countries across the region.”
Masiyiwa, who owns a substansive share in Econet will be launching a satellite broadcasting television network. The network is wholly owned by Econet. Masiyiwa, the richest man in Zimbabwe said: “Kwesé TV is our new soon-to-be-launched satellite and broadcasting network, wholly owned by Econet Media, a subsidiary of Econet Group. After the launch of Kwesé TV later this year, I’ll also use this as a case study on how to set up a major business venture like this one. Timing is important in business. Notice that I didn’t shout out, ‘hey guys, I’m bidding for the English Premier League.’ Do it first, before you start talking about it!”
The executive chairman of Premier League, Mr. Richard Scudamore said: “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. 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.”
Sub-Saharan Africa is one of the Premier League’s fastest-growing audiences, with an estimated 276 million viewers tuning in each year. This deal will strike a major blow on DSTV who charge customers exorbitant rates for viewing her content.