Tag Archives: Fifa World Cup

FIFA grants World Cup qualifiers to IMG

The Zurich-based Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) has awarded the media rights to the FIFA World Cup 2022 African qualifier games to International Management Group (IMG).

The deal excludes the Middle East and North Africa, sub-Saharan Africa, Iceland, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, but includes a total of 130 matches featuring 40 countries from across the African continent.

The matches include 120 Round 2 matches and 10 home and away play-off games that will see five African teams qualify for the World Cup in Qatar in 2022.

Forty nations from across the continent have been drawn in 10 groups of four for Round 2 of World Cup 2022 qualification in Africa. The top country from each group will then play a two-leg play-off match in March 2022 with the winners qualifying for the tournament.

Michael Mellor, senior VP and head of football at IMG, said: “This is an extremely exciting package of matches with the growing success of African nations and at major tournaments making the World Cup qualifiers a very attractive proposition for broadcasters around the globe. A number of top African players ply their trade in the top leagues and will be household names to viewers around the world.”

The World Cup will take place from November 21 to December 18 next year.

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AUB scores rights to World Cup qualifiers

The African Union of Broadcasting (AUB) has secured media rights to 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying games in 17 sub-Saharan countries.

A confirmation letter signed by FIFA’s director of media sales, service and content, Jean-Christophe Petit, said: “FIFA confirms that, subject to the terms of a media rights agreement between FIFA and African Union of Broadcasting, FIFA has granted to the AUB certain media rights right to broadcast and/or sub-license full, live and delayed audiovisual coverage of the matches of the respective national football teams of the territories of Benin, Cameroon, Congo Brazzaville, Cote d’Ivoire, DR Congo, Gabon, Madagascar, Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso, Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia and Guinea during the second round and play-offs of the Competition.”

FIFA had previously launched an invitation to tender for the commercialisation of the terrestrial free-to-air rights in the sub-Saharan Africa region.

The 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification process is a series of tournaments organised by the six FIFA confederations to decide 31 of the 32 teams that will play the FIFA World Cup, with Qatar qualifying automatically as host. The qualifying process opened in 2019 and five African nations will represent the continent in the World Cup.

The World Cup will take place from November 21 to December 18, 2022, in Qatar.

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SuperSport acquires World Cup rights

African pay TV channel SuperSport has acquired the broadcasting rights to all 64 matches of the Fifa World Cup 2022 taking place from November 21 to December 18 in Qatar.

Marc Jury

The matches will be contested by 32 teams including champions France and the broadcast rights extend to all platforms across sub-Saharan Africa.

Marc Jury, chief executive of SuperSport, said: “This is fantastic news, especially after the success of the 2018 tournament, a fitting celebration of the beautiful game. The Fifa World Cup always excites fans and the kick-off times will be most convenient for our viewers, given friendly broadcast time zones.”

FTN News reports that high-definition coverage will be offered across multiple channels with expert analysis, in-depth digital offerings and supplementary programming.

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Kwesé TV aims to reinvent African TV

Sub-Saharan pay TV platform Kwesé TV aims to change the narrative of Africa’s media, according to a top exec at its parent company Econet Media.

Zachary Wazara

Zachary Wazara, executive director at Econet, revealed that Kwesé is focused on ensuring Africa can access content without having to rely on pay TV.

“The free-to-air [FTA] business is intended to extend TV’s reach in Africa, recognising the fact that not everyone can afford pay TV. In Nigeria, for the Fifa World Cup, our [FTA channel] Kwesé Free Sports has signed up with Broadcasting Organization of Nigeria so that instead of 4.5 million pay customers watching the World Cup, we can now take the World Cup to between 100 million and 120 million people,” he said.

According to Wazara, Kwesé is changing the way people see pay TV, ensuring its sports channel is available to everyone on not just satellite TV but terrestrial as well.

In the past, Africa’s sports programming has been available on pay TV, but Kwesé Free Sports “gives the average African an opportunity to watch Formula 1, NBA and boxing at the highest level, to watch every single sport that is out there,” whereas before they were restricted to soccer, he said.

“Our objective is to begin to introduce different types of sports at international level, so we can also inspire our kids, by saying, ‘It’s not just about running, but more. Like tennis and rugby.’ Which is primarily why we introduced Kwesé Free Sports in 23 countries,” Wazara explained.

“Kwesé TV, which is our satellite business, competes against other brands that you know out there in the market. In Nigeria, our satellite TV has got the best clarity.

“Our objective is to do with satellite TV what was done with prepaid mobile – ensuring that anyone out there can have satellite television.”

In related news, Kwesé has just launched mobile app Kwesé iflix, which allows for flexible in-app subscriptions.

The subscription plans include three days for N250, seven days for N500 and 30 days for N1,000. Customers who download the app now get an opportunity to view 32 World Cup matches for free.

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StarTimes unveils VoD service app

Pan-African pay TV company StarTimes has launched its VoD service with a new video-streaming app.

The StarTimes app carries more than 70 channels

The Chinese-owned company, which recently disclosed it has three million pay TV subscribers in Nigeria, also said it will give discounts to the first 40,000 app subscribers.

Customers who subscribe to ON Sport on the app before June 14 will pay only N450 (US$1.25) to have access to its programmes and watch all 64 Fifa World Cup matches live.

However, those who purchase after the offer expires will have to subscribe to the service at N1,500.

The StarTimes app boasts of more than 70 channels, featuring sports, entertainment, movies, music and more. As well as the World Cup fixtures, the app will include Bundesliga, Serie A, Ghana Premier League, ICC and Ligue 1 matches.

Tony Tuo, StarTimes’ OTT operation director, said: “Video streaming is a future trend and StarTimes hopes our service will pioneer for African digital TV industry.

“It is impossible to miss any moment of the World Cup with our app. There is absolutely no need to worry about the weather condition, signal quality, electricity or being in transit,” he said.

The StarTimes app can be downloaded from any app store, including Android and iOS app stores, as well as the StarTimes website.

“Wherever you may be, with just a steady internet connection, the StarTimes app will get you fully entertained,” said Tuo.

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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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MultiChoice unveils pop-up soccer nets

African pay TV service MultiChoice is to launch new football-themed pop-up channels on its platforms, teaming up with a US cable network for one of them.

Martin Mabutho

The Naspers-owned company will launch the channels – History of Football and SuperSport 14 (SS14) – on its pay TV platforms DStv and GOtv. They will debut on DStv on May 28 and April 18, respectively.

History of Football will be launched in partnership with US-based cablecaster A+E Networks International. It will air for 14 days, starting on May 28 and ending on June 10, and is exclusive to DStv channel 187.

A+E Networks International operates the History channel worldwide and the History of Football is a global initiative.

Subscribers to DStv Premium, Compact and Compact Plus packages will have access to the History of Football, which will feature a blend of local and international football content.

Meanwhile, SS14 will focus on the Fifa World Cup tournament with an array of documentaries, matches and interviews. GOtv customers will be able to access the channel from April 25 and it will be available to GOtv Max and GOtv Plus subscribers on channel 36.

“The World Cup pop-up channels yet again exemplify our commitment to providing the best sporting content,” said Martin Mabutho, general manager of sales and marketing at MultiChoice Nigeria.

“Our viewers will get the chance to relive classic matches, catch exclusive interviews and witness never-before-seen scenarios, all while preparing for our unbeatable coverage of the 2018 World Cup, which comes complete with exclusive commentary and analyses.”

Yolisa Phahle, CEO of general entertainment for South Africa-based MultiChoice, said: “The story of football is great family entertainment and we’re delighted to be part of History’s global event.

“This pop-up channel is exclusive to DStv customers in Africa and is the perfect build-up to the full-on action that will unfold during the football World Cup tournament that we’ll be broadcasting in June on several dedicated SuperSport channels.”

The 2018 Fifa World Cup matches will be available on DStv and GOtv.

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StarTimes bags World Cup rights

StarTimes TV Nigeria has picked up broadcast rights to the 2018 Fifa World Cup football tournament, which takes place in Russia next summer.

StarTimes TV will, for the first time, exclusively broadcast live World Cup fixtures across Sub-Saharan Africa – except South Africa – from June 15 to July 16.

The matches will be carried by five of the pay TV operator’s sports channels; Sports Premium, World Premium, Sports Arena, Sports Life and Sports Focus.

Jay Jay Okocha, Simi and CEO Justin Zhang at the StarTimes event

The local broadcast rights to the 2014 World Cup, which saw hosts Brazil lose to Germany, were held by Nigerian broadcaster Optima Sports Management International.

StarTimes’ deal with Fifa covers the rights to broadcast not only Russia 2018 but all of Fifa’s other tournaments. The pay TV company confirmed the news to business partners and advertisers at an event on Friday.

Held at Federal Palace Hotel, Lagos, the exclusive event was attended by staff and managers of StarTimes TV and movers and shakers in the TV business, sports and entertainment industries.

Guests included Nigerian ex-footballer Jay Jay Okocha and top artist Simi, who performed at the launch.

In celebration of its Russia 2018 World Cup broadcasting partnership, StarTimes TV handed out prizes ranging from StarTimes LED TVs to smartphones and half a year’s worth of subscription bouquets.

Hosting the event was Lolo of Wazobia FM. Many attendees added their signatures to the StarTimes banner placed on the gray carpet.

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