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.
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.”