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Econet Media prepares for Kwesé expansion

Econet Media has confirmed the appointment of highly experienced African media executive Rhys Torrington as its Group Commercial Director, effective July 2016. This appointment marks a significant development in its strategy to establish its Kwesé television brand in the broadcast industry across Sub-Saharan Africa.
Rhys Torrington
Rhys Torrington

Having announced major partnership agreements with the likes of England’s Premier League, America’s NBA, the critically-acclaimed Viceland channel and Bishop T.D. Jakes, the latest news highlights the company’s ability to both acquire excellent programming, and attract influential TV industry professionals into its business.

As group commercial director, Torrington will be responsible for creating and expanding Econet Media’s commercial operations, specifically the ongoing development and implementation of a comprehensive sales strategy for Kwesé products. These products will be available on both satellite and internet platforms, including on-demand and mobile.

“Rhys is a skilled negotiator, accomplished leader and organisational expert who built his reputation through his tenacity and vision. He recognises the potential of Kwesé products to positively benefit African TV consumers by diversifying their choices. His role gives him cross-functional oversight of our connectivity infrastructure to best meet our core aim of delivering affordable, lifestyle-based, viewing solutions,” said Econet Media CEO Joseph Hundah. “His vast knowledge is deeply valuable, and we’re proud to welcome him.”

Most recently Torrington was the CEO of the Tanzania-based Azam Media, for three years, steering the company from initial concept to successful launch, and winning the brand a substantial audience across sub-Saharan Africa. Another notable achievement was the construction of a three-studio complex which was opened by the country’s president in September 2015.

Speaking on his decision to join with Econet Media, Torrington says, “It’s increasingly becoming clear that the Kwesé range of products will challenge for significant market share as they are launched. My primary objective as group commercial director is to engage our third-party partners collaboratively, so as to offer innovative opportunities for Kwesé to become integrated within their environments. Whilst we are well-equipped to resource our products, their insights will be incorporated to engineer a seamless Kwesé experience.”

Torrington started his career at IBM and then worked at an executive level with corporations such as Groupe Bull and the Gartner Group, where he provided consultancy services to a range of technology companies, including Vodafone and O2. He was also CEO of two internet start-ups in Paris and ran his own firm, concentrating on sales and marketing effectiveness. He’s lived and worked in the USA, The Netherlands, France, China, Brazil and Scandinavia.

With a particular interest in broadcast initiatives in Sub-Saharan Africa, he was the CEO at Gateway Communications when it launched the satellite DTH service GTV, whose competitive presence brought a new awareness to the African Pay-Tv market. Torrington holds an MA from Oxford University and is fluent in French and Dutch.

Econet Media is a subsidiary company of the globally networked Econet Group, founded by executive chairman, Strive Masiyiwa. Created for Sub-Saharan African audiences, Kwesé is inspired by the ‘TV everywhere’ revolution. As such, a range of Kwesé products will be made available on satellite and internet based platforms, including video-on-demand and mobile options. Focussed on providing premium, affordable, exclusive viewing choices, Kwesé products will offer sports, music, movies, series, kids, lifestyle, faith, news and other programming.

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