Sports Recorder edition, Friday, January 5, 2024.
StarTimes has rekindled the spark in the hearts of football lovers in Nigeria with their latest announcement, revealing that it’ll be airing the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament live, a feat MultiChoice couldn’t attain.
The African Cup of Nations (AFCON) broadcasting rights were not acquired by MultiChoice Group, as the company disclosed on Wednesday.
The competition, which is scheduled to start in Ivory Coast on January 13, is unlikely to air on the broadcast giant’s SuperSport channel, according to reports.
Nigerian football fans had hoped to watch the competition live on SuperSport where the Super Eagles will play the host nation, Equatorial Guinea, and Guinea Bissau in Group A.
Many football fans in sub-Saharan Africa now have fewer viewing alternatives due to the announcement from MultiChoice, which is still one of Africa’s largest broadcasting powerhouse’s and has a long history of regularly airing continental football championships.
With Togolese audiovisual company New World TV, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) announced in December 2023 that the two parties had reached a “historic media rights agreement” for the transmission of all 13 of the federation’s events to sub-Saharan African audiences for two years.
The deal was dubbed “the biggest investment by a Pan-African broadcaster in CAF’s history” by CAF President Patrice Motsepe.
The agreement, which is valid until 2023–2025, includes the upcoming AFCON and the following season of the competition.
The broadcast contract is valued at R1.5 billion, or $80 million, according to SABC.
In essence, MultiChoice, which has over 23 million subscribers across 50 African countries, is out of the running because of the agreement, which requires any TV station that wants to broadcast the competitions to go via New World TV.