The Confederation of Africa Football (CAF), African soccer’s governing body, has announced that it has concluded the TV rights sales for its upcoming Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) competition.
Global sports marketing agency IMG was responsible for securing broadcast deals with media partners outside the Middle East and North Africa region and Sub-Saharan Africa in its role as CAF’s international distribution partner
Over 20 global broadcast deals have been agreed for the competition, including high-profile sports media networks such as Sky in the UK, SportItalia in Italy, Ziggo in the Netherlands, and the LaLiga+ streaming service in Spain.
While most of the deals centered around Europe, where a number of the tournament’s biggest stars play at club level, several deals were also agreed outside of the continent, including with streaming service Fancode in India, Band TV in Brazil, and Sport 5 in Israel.
Several of CAF’s broadcast deals included multi-national channels that cover whole regions of Europe, namely with Sport Klub for the Balkan region, Viaplay in the Nordic countries, Megogo for Ukraine, Poland and Kazakhstan, and Sport Digital, which operates in Germany and Switzerland.
CAF had been securing broadcast deals for the international competition right up to the week of its opening, a fact that courted controversy about the handling of the TV rights by certain rightsholders.
Sub-Saharan broadcast giant Multichoice recently announced January that its SuperSport pay-TV service will not broadcast the 2023 AFCON after failing to secure a sub-licensing agreement with Togo-based broadcaster New World TV (NWTV), which holds the exclusive sub-Saharan Africa rights to the tournament on a three-year deal.
The loss of rights to AFCON is a major blow to MultiChoice, with the media giant having broadcast every edition since 1992, and naturally drew criticism from fans who had expected a deal to be reached.
It was announced earlier this week that pay-television operator StarTimes will provide coverage in sub-Saharan Africa, while the South African Broadcasting Corporation, the country's state broadcaster, will show the tournament in its home market.
Bot companies struck sub-licensing deals with NWTV.
Last month (December), IMG was appointed as the exclusive international distribution partner for CAF’s events in over 85 countries from 2023-2025, excluding the MENA region and Sub-Saharan Africa. IMG is also the federation’s global sponsorship agency through 2025.