Multichoice, the sub-Saharan African broadcast heavyweight, has announced its SuperSport pay-TV service has finally secured broadcast rights to the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations tournament, ending a potential blackout across the region.
The move comes a week after the broadcaster announced it would not air the continental soccer tournament after failing to secure a sub-licensing agreement with New World TV (NWTV), the Togo-based network, which holds the exclusive rights to all competitions organized by regional governing body CAF, including AFCON, in a deal covering 46 African countries until 2025.
However, in a U-turn, Multichoice said it had reached a “commercially viable agreement” with NWTV, with SuperSport now able to broadcast all games on its linea channels, as well as its DStv network and Gotv terrestrial service.
The tournament is being held from January 13 to February 11 in the Ivory Coast.
The upcoming edition, featuring the 24 best national teams from Africa, was initially scheduled for 2023 but was postponed by a year due to extreme weather conditions in Ivory Coast. The 2025 edition, meanwhile, will be held in Morocco during the middle of the year to bring the competition in line with other national team tournament schedules.
It was announced earlier this week that pay-television operator StarTimes will also 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. Both companies struck sub-licensing deals with NWTV.
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The new deal also comes a day after CAF announced it had concluded its TV rights sales for the 2023 edition with over 20 global deals, 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.
The deals were brokered by IMG, the global sports marketing agency, which is CAF’s international distribution partner for all regions except the Middle and North Africa region and sub-Saharan Africa.
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.