“Econet no longer offers Kwesé Play. For more information contact Econet,” is the message displayed on many South African Kwesé Play devices this morning. It turns out Kwesé Play streaming boxes have been disconnected from its partnered streaming service, Roku, without any prior warning.
Kwesé Play is powered by the US-owned Roku OTT streaming service and is offered by Zimbabwean telecom Econet Media. Kwesé Play took to Twitter to explain the discontinuation of the service, saying that “Econet Media, has noted that today customers received a notification on their Kwesé Play devices that they have been deactivated.” The company also said it’s working on the problem. Well…
Worse than buffering
The problem is bigger than just a server error or out-of-date software. According to Business Day, Econet Media has placed the satellite broadcasting part of its business under administration. The company says that it had hoped income generated from its streaming boxes would keep the company going.
Econet continued by sending out an email to its subscribers stating that Roku had unexpectedly terminated the service amidst negotiations. “The closure of the service and the message relayed on the device this morning was unexpected and comes at a time when we are engaged in discussions with Roku about their future plans on Africa,” the statement reads.
3 July 2019 – Econet Media, has noted that today customers received a notification on their Kwesé Play devices that they have been deactivated.
We apologise for this inconvenience and are working on resolving it.
We thank you for your understanding and patience.
— Kwesé Play (@KwesePlayground) July 3, 2019
And it doesn’t get any better… Service (and hardware) provider Roku issued a statement that may render your Kwesé Box nothing more than a decorative brick. The statement reads as follows:
Econet licensed our platform to deliver the Kwesé Play streaming service to its customers. Econet is shutting down the Kwesé Play service and is no longer working with Roku. For more information contact Kwesé/Econet.
At this stage, we cannot confirm whether the boxes will ever begin working again. What we can confirm, though, is that this has been a pretty bad week for the internet.