Viaplay, the Sweden-based media and entertainment company, has secured rights to broadcast the upcoming 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) national teams tournament being played in Ivory Coast.

Announcing the deal on X (formerly Twitter) Christian Ramberg, Viaplay’s program manager for sport, said Viaplay and its sports channels will show all matches during the tournament, which is being held from January 13 to February 14.

The announcement did not disclose the regions its broadcast will be available.

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.

The deal with Viaplay was brokered by IMG, the sports and entertainment giant, which secured an exclusive contract to distribute international media rights for events organized by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) in more than 85 countries for the 2023-25 cycle, excluding the Middle East and North Africa region and sub-Saharan Africa.

The agreement sees IMG manage the broadcast deals for the next two editions of AFCON – the 2023 and 2025 tournaments – as well as the qualifiers. 

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Viaplay held rights to show the 2021 edition of AFCON in Cameroon as part of a deal that also included broadcasting the Africa Women’s Cup of Nations in Morocco the same year and the CAF Champions League club competition for the 2021-22 and 2022-23 seasons.

Meanwhile, MultiChoice, the sub-Saharan African broadcast heavyweight, has announced its SuperSport pay-TV service will not broadcast the 2023 AFCON after failing to a secure broadcast rights agreement ahead of the flagship national team tournament.

In a statement, Multichoice said despite the tournament being unavailable on SuperSport, the games would “be available through our partner broadcast stations on free-to-air channels.”

The loss of rights to AFCON is a major blow to MultiChoice, with the media giant having broadcast every edition since 1992.

The broadcaster added it “remains committed to ensuring football fans across Africa continue to enjoy unrivaled access to entertainment and football games.” Multichoice’s SuperSport and DStv networks hold the vast majority of English-language rights in sub-Saharan Africa to top-tier sports properties.

These networks cover properties such as English Premier League soccer, American football’s NFL, motor racing’s Formula 1, and all major international cricket tournaments.

The announcement comes after Togo-based network New World TV secured an exclusive three-year deal with CAF to air all of its competitions, including AFCON, across 46 African countries until 2025.

SuperSport needed to secure a sub-license from New World TV to broadcast the tournament in the regions covered by the agreement.

The news comes after Ziggo Sport, the Dutch pay-TV network, and German pay-TV channel Sportdigital secured the rights to air the upcoming tournament in their respective countries.