Econet Media, which serves southern Africa, has been named as the recipient of the Judges’ Prize at this year’s IBC. The award will be presented for the telecommunications group’s TV everywhere in Sub-Saharan Africa initiative, which has seen the Kwesé Play streaming service made widely available.
Kwesé Play streams a combination of local and international content while enjoying the benefits of an exclusive partnership with Netflix in the region. Econet Media faced and overcame the challenges of developing an OTT service for a range of devices, particularly mobile phones and tablets due to the very limited broadband in areas of the territory. Econet partnered with Verimatrix for its security technology, AWS Elemental for encoding the content to a single streaming format and DRM, and Roku for developing a player capable of interpreting a unified stream on any given device.
‘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 IBC 2018 Judges’ Prize will be presented to Econet Media as part of the awards ceremony on Sunday 15 September at 18:30 in the RAI Auditorium. The ceremony will also see Joan Ganz Cooney receive the International Honour for Excellence award.