African pay-television broadcaster Kwesé TV has returned to Zimbabwean screens following the latest court ruling over the legality of the service.
Kwesé TV last month suspended operations for the second time in Zimbabwe following a decision by the country’s regulator to appeal a ruling that granted permission for the service to broadcast.
The Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe appealed a High Court ruling to the Supreme Court. Earlier in September, High Court judge, Justice Charles Hungwe, gave Kwesé TV, through its partner, Dr Dish, approval to broadcast. However, the BAZ took action claiming that the High Court had no authority to rule in the case.
Kwesé TV decided to suspend operations while awaiting the Supreme Court ruling, but Dr Dish has now succeeded with a fresh High Court appeal requesting that it be granted permission to recommence broadcasts pending the Supreme Court ruling on BAZ’s application.
Zimbabwean newspaper NewsDay said High Court judge, Justice Charles Hungwe, upheld Dr Dish’s claim that subscribers’ constitutional rights would be violated if leave to broadcast pending the Supreme Court ruling was not granted on an urgent basis.
NewsDay added that Justice Hungwe ruled that BAZ chief executive Obert Muganyura’s decision to cancel Dr Dish’s licence was illegal since he had no authority to make the decision.
Kwesé Sports last major rights deal came in August as it acquired rights to International Association of Athletics Federations competitions throughout sub-Saharan Africa under an agreement with sports broadcaster ESPN. The six-year deal runs from 2018 to 2023.
Brokered by ESPN’s Media Distribution unit, the contract entitles Kwesé TV to become the exclusive broadcaster for IAAF events and content in sub-Saharan Africa. Content will feature across its free-to-air and pay-television channels, as well as the new Kwesé Play service.