Econet’s Kwese Sports, a soon-to-be launched satellite and broadcasting network, has acquired rights to broadcast the English Premier League into 50 countries in Africa bringing a slight competition to Multichoice’s DStv.
The firm announced that Econet Media has acquired the package of free-to-air broadcasting rights that it makes available in sub-Saharan Africa for the three seasons 2016/17–2018/19.
Kwese Sports will make available one Saturday afternoon Premier League match live on a free-to-air basis each weekend of the season along with weekly preview and review shows in 50 countries across the region. Though this is not a huge blow to DStv, it shows EPL is willing to work with more partners to free its content from premium buyers in its non US markets to also give it more mileage to signup advertisers.
“We are very pleased that Econet Media has chosen to invest in the package of free-to-air broadcasting rights that we have made available in sub-Saharan Africa,” Premier League Executive Chairman, Richard Scudamore, said. “Premier League clubs enjoy passionate support across sub-Saharan Africa and these rights are important to ensuring that as many fans as possible can follow and enjoy our competition.”
Econet Media CEO Joseph Hundah said: “England’s Premier League is a globally prestigious sporting competition, one that is deeply loved by millions of African sports fans. As such we are very committed to obtaining these rights and have invested significantly to acquire them.
“We want to make this League available to fans across sub-Saharan Africa and so, through Kwese Sports FTA partners and other platforms, we hope to widen access to this property.”
The agreement was announced shortly before the latest edition of BPL Live, a fan park for fans of Barclays Premier League football. This year it is being held in Cape Town, South Africa, over the weekend of 19-20 March after the success of its first edition in Johannesburg in 2014.