It was a huge shock on 1 November when Kwese announced that it was streamlining its direct-to-home (DTH) satellite television service, leading to the reduction of third party channels on the Kwese TV bouquet, as well as the removal of Kwesé branded sports (excluding KFS) and general entertainment channels.
The broadcast network said the strategy will see it focus on three core services; Kwesé Free Sports (KFS), Kwesé iflix and Kwesé Play. Putting it plainly, the new Kwese TV bouquet carries free-to-air (FTA), religious, and free news channels which will be available to viewers for a minimal annual fee.
Although Kwese’s growth hadn’t been rapid, the broadcaster had some unique content which made the brand standout from its competitors and would have driven uptake in the long term. It introduced some kids’ channels namely, DreamWorks and Toonami, which were first-to-market in Africa. For the first time also, we saw a pay-TV operator broadcast some serious yet entertaining shows aimed at empowering budding entrepreneurs.
Now that the pay-TV channels have been stripped off the Kwese TV bouquet, here are some of the channels and shows we are desperately missing;
AMC Networks is known for classic movies and time pieces. Movies such as Legends of the Fall, starring Anthony Hopkins and Brad Pitt, took us down memory lane. And if classic movies are not your thing, the sweet spot for this channel was the 8pm hour (WAT) when the original series aired. We were able to enjoy some truly thrilling action and drama series on this channel including; Better Call Saul, Fear The Walking Dead, Into The Badlands, The Terror, and The Son.
If you're a thrill seeker, look no further than AMC Networks, ch 130, for action-packed, adrenaline-fuelled series and experience the power of story.
— Kwesé Nigeria (@Kwese_NG) August 1, 2018
DreamWorks was the kids’ holiday companion. The channel featured Emmy® award-winning, original television series featuring beloved characters from DreamWorks animated movies. Famous on this channel were; All Hail King Julien, Voltron Legendary Defender and The Adventures of Puss in Boots.
While Fine Living was not exclusive to Kwese TV and can still be seen on StarTimes, Kwese’s picture quality was second to none. So, there was no better platform to watch a lifestyle channel like Fine Living but on Kwese TV.
We will absolutely miss Family Feud and Match Game on Kwese Family. We are however thankful that we got to see the concluding episode of Total Dreamer before the channel was discontinued. And in case you don’t know, Total Dreamer is a Brazilian telenovela. It starts off slowly but grows on you and before you know it, you’re running home to watch Carolina’s next move. The good news; it’s airing on Nina novela channel on DStv and it’s just in its third week so you can still catch up.
Before the launch of Kwese TV, when we thought of business channels, we referred to news channels such as Bloomberg TV, CNN and CNBC. But Kwese introduced us to Kwese Inc. with several business and entrepreneurship shows including; Shark Tank, Beyond the Tank, The Profit, Dragon’s Den, and Make Me a Millionaire. There was also once Kwese Know with shows like Oxford Union and Face-to-Face which became incorporated into Kwese Inc. after Kwese Know was terminated earlier this year.
Unlike DStv, Kwese had its own children’s channel. This channel played on nostalgia with very emotive promos and shows like the good-old Sesame Street. The HD pictures also made the new exciting shows like Sid the Science Kid and Ready Jet Go absolutely enchanting. These shows aroused children’s interest in science in a fun way. Sadly, Kwese Kids was terminated from the Kwese TV bouquet in September before the eventual removal of all pay-TV channels in November.
Kwese TV might not have aired the Ellen Degeneres show but the Steve Show was a great alternative. Kwese Prime also introduced us to Greenleaf. Thankfully, we can catch Greenleaf on Netflix and eagerly await the season 3 premiere.
Interestingly, a Turner channel and although Cartoon Network and Boomerang had long existed in this market, Toonami was another first and exclusive from Kwese. Toonami is the home of superheroes. It featured not only superheroes from the fantastic world of DC Comics such as Batman, Superman, The Green Lantern and The Justice League, but also other popular children’s superheroes loved by young African audiences, such as Ben 10 and Thundercats.
As the name implies, True Movie airs films based on true-life events, covering different genres namely; crime, romance, drama and docusoaps. This was the go-to-channel for history lovers who wanted to learn a thing or two about the past but not necessarily in documentary format. We got the pleasure of watching the Ten Commandments, Joan of Arc, The Audrey Hepburn Story, biopics of Britain’s royal family, enactments of 9/11 and much more on this channel.
Kwese essentially teased us with this channel. Scoop Network made an in-road into Africa through the Kwese TV network in July offering celebrity news and magazine shows focused on movies, music and fashion. Sadly, this channel got yanked off Kwese with other third party channels.