Tag Archives: ESPN

Disney, SABC ink content distribution deal

The Walt Disney Company Africa and the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) have signed a distribution deal allowing the latter to broadcast ESPN content to viewers across South Africa.

Gary Rathbone

Through the SABC Sports channel, viewers will have access to a wide range of Disney-owned ESPN’s local and international live sporting events, news programming and sports films.

They will also be able to watch football matches from the English Championship, the Dutch Eredivisie and the U20 Championships from Nairobi, plus highlights from the US Major League Soccer, premiere football news round-ups from ESPN’s magazine shows, and the popular ESPN FC.

In addition, viewers can see live broadcasts of 2022 events including the World Race Walking Championships from Belarus, the second season of the Basketball Africa League and live boxing events.

SABC sport general manager Gary Rathbone said: “This agreement is going to add significant depth to our current offering on the SABC Sports channel. Our channel will now offer unrivalled content to our local sport fans seven days a week, thanks to ESPN’s great boxing archive and film and documentary library. With the addition of long-awaited regular live boxing events, as well more live football, athletics and African basketball, it’s clear this partnership will deliver right across the board for our viewers.

“This partnership will not only give our viewers access to great sports content but will see the SABC sport channel and our teams benefiting from the resources and experience that this collaboration with ESPN offers.”

Kyle De Klerk, director of sports at The Walt Disney Company Africa, added: “With this content agreement, we are excited to not only be bringing ESPN’s unprecedented and compelling sporting offering to new audiences, but to also be taking a great step in highlighting and celebrating some of the up and coming leagues and athletes from around this continent.”

Christine Service, senior VP and general manager of The Walt Disney Company Africa, said: “We are delighted to be extending our relationship with SABC to include ESPN, bringing another diversified and exciting brand from Disney’s portfolio to local free-to-air audiences.”

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Nat Geo, ESPN join StarTimes

Pan-African pay TV broadcaster StarTimes has added six channels to its line-up including National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo Wild, ESPN, ESPN 2, Fox and Fox life.

The channels will broadcast in English, French and Portuguese and will be available immediately via StarTimes’ terrestrial and satellite platforms.

Viewers in sub-Saharan Africa have been able to watch ESPN content via the ESPN Player subscription OTT service. Since StarTimes shares the complete rights to Formula E across sub-Saharan Africa with ESPN Africa, fans will now be able to watch the championship on the pay platform.

StarTimes regional marketing director Aldrine Nsubuga said that subscribers will automatically get the channels in their bouquets.

The company has secured exclusive deals to broadcast every remaining race in the current Formula E Championship live on its linear and digital channels.

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Kwesé Free Sports serves up WTA

Kwesé Free Sports will broadcast the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) Tour in Acapulco, Mexico, live on its cable network from this weekend.

The competition runs from February 25 to March 3 and will follow Kwesé’s airing of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships from February 19 to 24.

The tournaments will air live on ESPN channel 310 and on Kwesé Sports 2 channel 305.

Kwesé TV exclusively broadcast the WTA Qatar Total Open, held in Doha, last week.

Kwesé TV is currently covering the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, where the first Nigerian bobsled team is competing.

Kwesé TV has exclusive free-to-air broadcast rights to the Tokyo 2022 Olympic games, the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and the Paris 2024 games.

Kwesé Free Sports is also the official broadcaster of the 2018 Fifa World Cup in Russia.

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Fox Sports Africa nets rebrand to ESPN

Fox Sports Africa’s FOX Sports and FOX Sports 2 channels are to be rebranded as ESPN and ESPN2 respectively, following The Walt Disney Company’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox.

Christine Service

From August 30, African viewers will have access to ESPN shows on TV and online, covering sports such as Major League Baseball, and Major League Soccer and multiple European football leagues.

There will also be live broadcasts of the WAFU Cup of Nations 2019 on the ESPN channels, with the football tournament taking place from September 28 to October 13 in Thies, Senegal.

ESPN Europe and Africa’s Frank Rutten said: “Rebranding to ESPN is a natural transition since The Walt Disney Company bought 21st Century Fox.”

“Fox Sports Africa is excited to grow its broadcast offering under the ESPN banner,” said Christine Service, senior VP and country manager of The Walt Disney Company Africa, adding that Disney was looking forward to developing the channels in the future.

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