IBC Awards Judges honour Econet for TV everywhere in sub-Saharan Africa

10 September 2018

New technology platform connects audiences to global content.

Audiences everywhere now expect to be able to access content on any device, at any location, at any time. Realising this ambition, Econet Media, which serves southern Africa, is to be the recipient of the Judges’ Prize at IBC2018.

Kwesé Play is a streaming service which is widely available and offers a rich mix of local and international content, including an exclusive partnership with Netflix. The challenge for Econet Media was to develop a service which provided access across all types of OTT devices, but particularly to mobile devices in a geography in which fixed broadband is very limited. It needed to present this in a form that was accessible, secure to protect the owners of the intellectual property, affordable in the context of sub-Saharan Africa, and practical to use.
“Kwesé Play is a game-changer, bringing sport and entertainment to viewers in a part of the world which has been hard to serve,” said Michael Lumley, Chair of the IBC Judging Panel. “In our discussions, we recognised that the way the technology partners had collaborated on this project was innovative and successful, but we also felt that the outcome transcended the technology, delivering social change by connecting local people to global content.”

The technology partners which worked with Econet to develop the Kwesé Play platform include Verimatrix for its security technology, AWS Elemental for encoding the content to a single streaming format and DRM, and Roku for developing a player which would interpret this unified stream on any device.

“The IBC Awards are highly regarded across the broad sweep of our industry,” Lumley added. “We are pleased to recognise the social as well as technical importance of this project.”

The IBC2018 Judges’ Prize will be presented to Econet Media as part of the Awards Ceremony on Sunday 16 September at 18:30 in the RAI Auditorium. The ceremony, which will also see the IBC International Honour for Excellence presented to a very special guest from Sesame Street, is free to all IBC visitors. Show your badge on arrival and arrive early to guarantee your seat.