New Broadcaster To Challenge Dstv and Kwese: Meet AzamTV

Farai Mudzingwa Avatar

It seems Zimbabwe’s Pay-Tv market may be going through a revolution of sorts. Last year, Econet Media launched Kwese TV in Zimbabwe and now the Tanzanian Bakhresa Group of Companies is bringing AzamTV to our local shores.

Azam: A bit of backgorund

The Bakhresa Group of Companies is owned and chaired by one of the wealthiest Tanzanians: Said Salim Bakhresa. The group of companies has dabbled their trade in food products, road transport services, and media among other things. AzamTV started broadcasting in 2013 and right now they are available in Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania, Burundi and Uganda.

They offer a bouquet of over 85 channels. It seems there is a bit of everything for everyone as channels include: BBC News, Aljeezera News, Bloomberg, MTV Base, Nickelodeon, Bollywood content, African movies, Fox life, Fox Entertainment, Nat Geo Gold, Discovery Science, Discovery Investigation. On the sports front Azam has Fox Sports, Manchester United TV, Real Madrid TV and Liverpool TV.

When will Azam start broadcasting in Zimbabwe?

Imminently is the best answer we can give you right now. Bakhresa Group representative, Yusuf K Kamau mentioned that they are ready to roll and are basically waiting for permission:

The application procedures are already underway and we are in the process of ensuring that we meet all the requirements. We want to bring this product to Zimbabwe as soon as yesterday, so basically if we get the green light, we will unroll the project.

The cheapest bouquet will be accessible for $5, whilst the most expensive will be going for $15 and will offer over 100 channels, apparently.

You may be wondering if the most wanted English Premier League is on offer but unfortunately you won’t be able to watch that on Azam. But with their most expensive bouquet expected to be $15/month it would have been shocking if Azam had secured rights for the most sought after football league in the world.

As mentioned above, Kwese came onto the scene last year and it offers a $29, $9 and $5 bouquets for 30, 7 and 3 days respectively. Kwese is more accessible than Dstv right now owing to the fact they accept Bond notes . The EPL and soccer fans are yet to be swayed from Dstv though, due to the strangle hold Dstv has on the rights to air more live matches so it will be interesting to see where Azam will fit in the Pay TV market alongside both Dstv and Kwese.

Nonetheless, I do think AzamTV’s entry into the market will be positive because at the end of the day consumers can never have too much choice. I’m particularly interested in seeing what $5 will get subscribers. It will probably be better than what is on offer on our national broadcaster so I guess there may be a market for Azam What are your thoughts? Is there a market for a third TV subscription service in Zimbabwe?


  1. Garikai Dzoma

    The EPL and UCL are deal breakers for me. I get Netflix, Hulu, iTV and iPlayer so Entertainment is not the deciding factor for me.

    1. Farai Mudzingwa

      Yeah for EPL, and UCL no one holds a candle to dstv

  2. Anonymous

    Will they be accepting bond notes?

    1. Farai Mudzingwa

      Not sure yet, but I think they will cause not taking Bond notes will be suicidal

  3. Anonymous

    Zimbabwe’s population is so low. I am really surprised why Pay Per TV companies are scrambling for us?

    1. fiend

      Growth potential. Future middle class.

      Low roll out costs…pre-existing infrastructure,licensing,can ride on hype brought by Kwese

      Southern African pilot on a small but measurable scale.

      Don’t worry, you won’t see it with a consumer mindset.

  4. Situpeti

    Competition is always welcome, one way or the other. DStv will soon self regulate and lower prices or else risk getting soccer season subscribers only.

  5. Sagitarr

    With duplication of channels this doesn’t pass me as “competition” at all. Just like the CBD vendors, thousands of them selling basically the same products. Real competition comes with variety, not just of the pricing regime, but content. I have as yet found no real motivation to move away from DStv so far.

    1. Farai Mudzingwa

      True it’s not exclusively about pricing but I also think there are those who want content that’s priced aggresively because yes Dstv may have good content but their cheaper bouquets do are not really inviting for lower income households.

    2. tinm@n

      DSTV is useful only for sport.

      It is justifiable only for that reason.

      If you are a sports freak, you have justification to be on it.

      But for other forms of entertainment, you would be a fool to think DSTV has superiority…except for the South African series on premium, if they make good justification…

      1. Sagitarr

        @Tinm@N – Speak for yourself…there are many channels I enjoy apart from sport. Calling those with a different opinion to yours “fools” is rather radical , immature and tactless. You’re entitled to your opinion but that doesn’t make you superior or an authority on what suits who. I pay for DStv, I don’t get it for free and I have a family. MYOB

    3. Situpeti

      Using that logic, can we say Telecel, NetOne and Econet are not competing? Let alone the coming in of TelOne into the sector is not competition because of duplication?

      1. Sagitarr

        My point is that DStv, Kwese and Azam have a lot of channels that show the same content. If there is variety there the market becomes dynamic. Its the same concept as really there being no need to have 3 lines and 3 handsets (although this happens a lot, I wouldn’t like to have 3 satellite dishes on my property, or more generally, a shop having 5 EFTPOS devices at one till point). One expects competition to be based on the services & QOS offered, rather than hardware.
        So Telecel, NetOne and Econet are in competition because they offer the same products but with different features/offerings.

  6. Tinashe

    Trying to fuel a conspiracy here. What if that’s Doctor Dish come back? Add some flesh you want to it, the rest is up to you.

  7. Mtombeni Lovemore

    Kwese & DSTV aren’t my favourite bcz of their content. I hope Azam & Dr Dish will expand to include worthwhile religious channels like ‘Isambulo’, ‘3ABN’, ‘Discovery’ & ‘Hope’ channels