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Vice and Kwese partner on South African production hub

Kwese ViceEconet Media and Vice Media have announced plans to launch a new bureau and production studio in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The Kwesé Vice joint venture will focus on developing, producing and distributing local content and original video programming – both for Kwesé Vice’s channels and third party platforms.

The venture is due to launch in 2018 and marks the extension of an existing relationship between the two companies, with Econet Media-owned Kwesé TV already home of Viceland in sub-Saharan Africa.

“Continuing to build on what’s been a flourishing partnership with Econet over the past year, we’re excited to be fully launching Vice across the region,” said Matt Elek, chief executive officer, VICE Media, EMEA.

“Pairing Econet’s extensive local knowledge and innovative distribution with VICE’s creative powerhouse and storytelling expertise, we’re committed to delivering a fresh new voice for Africa’s diverse youth audiences.”

Joseph Hundah, president and group CEO of Econet Media, said: “We’ve announced a number of landmark partnerships for the continent and this venture is particularly exciting as it adds to our offering for the youth demographic across the continent.

“Vice is an important strategic partner for us in building an innovative, future-focused media business for Africa.”

Vice Media first announced in January that its Viceland channel would launch in Africa as part of an exclusive tie-up with Kwesé TV.

Under the deal, Kwesé TV agreed to add Viceland to its pay TV offering across sub-Saharan Africa, with content also being made available via Kwesé’s catch-up TV service as well as its Android and iOS apps.

Kwesé TV started the phased rollout of its satellite pay TV service across Africa later the same month, launching first in Ghana, Rwanda and Zambia.

Kwesé is a new pay TV service for sub-Saharan Africa and offers a ‘slim bouquet’ of around 60 channels for some US$25 per month.