Why ICASA gave Kwesé TV a free-to-air licence

Following the recent controversy surrounding the liquidation of Kwesé Play, ICASA has published a document explaining why it granted Kwesé TV a free-to-air TV broadcasting licence.

“ICASA embarked on a comprehensive process as contemplated in the Electronic Communications Act (ECA) as well as the Promotion of Administrative Act (PAJA) to review the applications,” ICASA said.

According to ICASA, the following considerations are undertaken before granting a licence application:

  • Compliance with the relevant provisions of the ECA
  • Compliance with the requirements of the ITA
  • Market research: demand, need, and support of the proposed service
  • Viability of the business plan and financial means of the applicant
  • Capability, expertise and experience of the applicant and its employees

“After careful consideration of each application and being cognizant of the prevailing provisions of the ECA and the requirements of the ITA, the Authority undertook a decision to award Kwesé Free TV an Individual Commercial Free-To-Air Television Broadcasting Service Licence and Radio Frequency Spectrum Licence,” ICASA said.

The Kwesé brand has come under fire in recent weeks after the Kwesé Play service suddenly stopped working.

Kwesé since announced that it has liquidated Kwesé Play after Roku refused to reactivate the service on its custom-built Kwesé Play media players.

When MyBroadband asked Kwesé Play owner Econet if customers who currently own these devices will receive any form of compensation, a spokesperson said that any further announcements will be subject to the liquidation process.

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Why ICASA gave Kwesé TV a free-to-air licence