The power to choose what you want to watch and the time and fee you want has now been handed over to African audience, starting from South Africa, Nigeria, and few others.
South African Kwese TV, in partnership with intrenet movie giant Netflix, launched its Kwese Play few days ago.
Custom-built and powered by our partner Roku®, the Kwesé Play “streaming box” has more entertainment content than any broadcaster in Africa and is the first set-top box in Africa to officially include Netflix service.
According to Kwesé TV owner Strive Masiyiwa, the box is a game changer, a world apart from the traditional Pay TV that uses satellite transmission, and works very rigidly.
“Kwesé Play uses the most advanced decoder in the world (an Internet “streaming box”) connected by fibre optic cable. The high speed fibre (internet) connection allows us to provide the most intelligent TV service possible,” said Masiyiwa, the owner of Nigeria’s first telecoms operator Econet.
“Our streaming box is the one used mostly in the US. It’s a called Roku®, and is only available in Africa from Kwesé Play and its distributors.
Netflix is provided through what we call an Internet “streaming app” which allows you to open and search for thousands of movies.
But Netflix is not the only streaming app in the Kwese Play package. There are no fewer than 100 others you can choose from, and are mostly free.
Many Netflix originals will be released in Africa at the same time as everywhere in the world, including new seasons of global hits such as Stranger Things, Narcos, Luke Cage and The Crown, stand-up comedies like Trevor Noah, Afraid of the Dark.
Plus subscribers in Africa will also be able to see some shows that are not available to Netflix members in the US, such as hit series Designated Survivor and the new Star Trek: Discovery series.
KweséTV app—T V Everywhere—for mobile—will also be free for those who subscribe to Kwese Play.
As the service rolls out across sub-Saharan Africa in few months’ time, subscribers won’t have to pay for their Netflix subscription with a credit card.
Nigerians, for instance, will subscribe for the monthly package for about N6,275. For weekly and three-day subscriptions, you pay N1850 and N990 respectively.
The Kwesé Netflix deal is a mega one in many respects. It is the first and the only one in Africa. And a series of order deals preceded it.
The seminal stage of the idea to meet Africans’ need for entertainment and information content they can build for themselves saw Masiyiwa and his team shell out R6 billion (N156 billion) to buy Neotel, a fibre optic networks specialist, now called Liquid Telecom SA.
He said the Netflix deal got sealed in Barcelona with one of its two owners Reed Hastings,, after years of negotiation.
Masiyiwa has been breaking grounds in entrepreneurship around Africa.
The 56-year-old Zimbabwean claimed he was the first to make a GSM call in Nigeria when former President Olusegun Obasanjo deregulated the telecoms sector.
Series of intrigues and conspiracies frustrated him out of the during a deal with V-mobile, now called Airtel.