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Econet launches free-to-air sports channel in Kenya

Kwesé SportKenya-based Econet Media has launched a free-to-air sports channels that will offer coverage of English Premier League football as well as NBA basketball, Extreme Fighting Championship combat sports and NFL American football.

The channel, Kwesé Free Sports, will be available on digital-terrestrial TV and on satellite in Kenya via free-to-air set-top boxes.

The channel has exclusive free-to-air rights to air one Premier League match of the week every Saturday.

Kenyan content on the channel includes Xtreme Outdoor Africa, Ball N’Africa and Sports Stars Uncovered.

Econet Media is a unit of Econet Wireless, a mobile telecommunications operator founded by Zimbabwean businessman Strive Masiyiwa. Masiwiya revealed at the end of last year that he was planning to launch a broader pay TV service called Kwesé TV, offering a mix of sports and entertainment programming across sub-Saharan Africa, including to mobile users.

He said that the company’s satellite unit, Liquid Sat, had built a platform to deliver the service via DTH.

“We are thrilled to have reached this important milestone. Our goal is to bring African viewers the very best viewing experience and we are able to provide this for free in a way that is accessible for our viewers,” said Ben Amadasun, CEO Kwesé Free Sports.

“Not only will we air local content, but we will also commission the production of original work by local production companies, as part of our commitment to developing the local industry”, said Monicah Ndungu general manager of the channel.