MultiChoice-owned African streaming service Showmax Pro has announced plans to live-stream the Tokyo Summer Olympic Games in more than 50 countries across Africa.
The 2020 games were postponed as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. From July 23 to August 8 this year Showmax Pro subscribers will be able to live-stream hundreds of Olympic events on the service, including the opening and closing ceremonies and every medal event.
Yolisa Phahle, CEO for MultiChoice Connected Video, said: “We are thrilled to bring all the action to our Showmax Pro subscribers to stream wherever they are, and we’ll be backing our African athletes every step of the way.”
Marc Jury, CEO of MultiChoice’s SuperSport channels, added: “There is no bigger – or better – celebration of sport than the Olympic Games. It’s wonderful theatre, particularly at a time when we need to be entertained, and we look forward to the best-ever broadcast offering.”
Sub-Saharan African pay TV broadcaster SuperSport has revealed a ground-breaking initiative aimed at investing in schools sport in South Africa.
The SuperSport Schools initiative will broadcast many schools sporting fixtures as well as identify young talent. Schools will have access to technology production facilities and parents will be able to view school sports anytime and anywhere through the SuperSport Schools mobile app.
According to SuperSport owner MultiChoice, the focus will be on netball, hockey and rugby for the initial implementation phase, with cricket and water polo following as the programme extends.
SuperSport chief executive Marc Jury said: “This initiative is a natural extension of our mission to play our part to grow the pipeline for South Africa’s future sporting heroes. Schools sport is the foundation from which great sporting nations are built. The stronger the foundation, the brighter our future sporting stars can shine.”
The campaign aimed at taking SuperSport Schools to every corner of the continent will be spearheaded by Proteas netball captain Bongi Msomi and Rugby World Cup-winning Springbok Lukhanyo Am.
The initiative is also in partnership with tech firm Nashua, which will play a key part in rolling out the artificial intelligence automated cameras that are designed to produce and distribute live and highlight content via the mobile application and social/digital channels.
Sub-Saharan African pay TV broadcaster SuperSport will remove one of its two SuperSport WWE wrestling channels from the DStv platform at the end of this month.
DStv channel 128 will remain the sole channel dedicated to WWE while DStv channel 236 will be axed. The move comes eight months after the channel was launched when SuperSport rejigged its sport channels line-up on DStv.
Last August, SuperSport said that the replication of the WWE channel on channel 128 and 236 was to bring it into the fold as part of the block of SuperSport channels.
SuperSport spokesman Clinton van den Berg told South African blogger TV with Thinus: “The two channels are exactly the same and as such were only splitting audiences and causing confusion. We opted to retain channel 128 as it’s the original channel number assigned to WWE.”
An on-screen message on the DStv electronic programme guide states: “The SuperSport WWE channel on channel 236 will be consolidated from 2 channels (128 and 236) to one (128) on 1 May 2021. Channel 236 will no longer be available from 30 April 2021 and you can continue to catch all your WWE superstars and content on channel 128.”
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.
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.
The newly elected president of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), Patrice Motsepe, has revealed he aims to prioritise fixing the TV rights saga that has affected the finances of the football governing body over the years.
According to South Africa newspaper The Sowetan, CAF’s cancellation of its media and marketing rights agreement with French company Lagardere Sports & Entertainment in 2019 prevented several TV stations, like SuperSport, from airing top matches including Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, Champions League and Confederation Cup matches.
Promising to sort out the situation, he said: “We spend too much money in Africa watching European football. We must get more revenue from selling [our own] TV rights. In SA, huge money is spent for people to watch European football, and it is wonderful. But we want them to spend huge money for African football.
“I’m absolutely confident over the next years, African football will improve in all areas and become globally competitive and self-sustaining.”
African pay TV channel SuperSport has extended its broadcast contract with European football association UEFA for another three years for sub-Saharan Africa, including South Africa.
This deal cuts across the entire broadcast territory of sub-Saharan Africa and applies to all distribution platforms, including television, internet and mobile.
SuperSport’s new rights include the UEFA Europa Conference League, a new 32-team competition, and the UEFA Youth League.
Subscribers to MultiChoice-owned pay platform DStv will continue to see UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League coverage for a further three years, including the UEFA Europa Conference League.
MultiChoice CEO Calvo Mawela said: “UEFA football competitions showcase the champion footballers of Europe, never failing to produce excitement and drama, and we look forward to broadcasting these events in the years to come.”
Guy-Laurent Epstein, marketing director at UEFA Events SA, added: “We are pleased to continue our long-standing partnership with SuperSport to bring the best of European club competitions to football fans across sub-Saharan Africa.”
Sub-Saharan African pay TV broadcaster SuperSport has announced plans to rejig and rename most of its channels at the start of next month.
The broadcaster is dropping the numbering system it has used for its channels on pay TV platform DStv for the past two decades, replacing it with a thematic offering around individual sports aimed at making it easier for viewers to find what they are looking for.
This includes dedicated channels for leagues and sports such as Premier League and La Liga football, rugby, cricket, golf, tennis and motorsport. The new line-up will also feature magazine shows and highlights.
Among the new channels is SuperSport Grandstand, a flagship network that will host the best of any live curated sport available to DStv Premium customers at any one time. During weekends, its content will be hosted live from a studio. The channel will be positioned immediately after fellow SuperSports net Blitz at the beginning of the new line-up.
For Premium DStv subscribers, the line-up that currently comprises (in order) Blitz, SS1, SS2, SS3, SS4, SS5, SS6, SS7, SS8, SS9, SS10, SS11, SS12, SS13 (pop up), ESPN 1, ESPN 2, WWE will switch to Blitz, SuperSport Grandstand, Football Plus, the Premier League channel, the La Liga channel, the Football channel, Variety 1, Variety 2, Variety 3, Variety 4, Action, Rugby, Cricket, Golf, Tennis, Motorsport, ESPN 1, ESPN 2 and the WWE channel.
For Compact Plus subscribers, the current line-up of Blitz, SS3, SS4, SS5, SS6, SS7, SS8, SS9, SS10, ESPN 1, ESPN 2 and WWE will change to Blitz, Football Plus, the Premier League channel, the La Liga channel, the Football channel, Variety 1, Variety 2, Variety 3, Variety 4, Action, ESPN 1, ESPN 2 and the WWE channel.
Supersport CEO Gideon Khobane said: “This is a landmark decision in SuperSport’s history and one we’re convinced will add a fresh and invigorating dimension to our broadcasts. The changes will mean additional SuperSport channels of local and international sporting content will be added to the DStv package.
“Genre channelling will no doubt increase awareness of a broader range of content, which may have always been on the platform but wasn’t necessarily easy to discover. This signals a radical change designed to make content discovery more seamless.”
Spanish top-flight football division La Liga has renewed its broadcasting rights deal with sub-Saharan African pay TV channel SuperSport, part of MultiChoice Group.
According to SuperSport, this deal is central to its aim to be the home of football on the African continent. The agreement ensures it continues to be the home of La Liga throughout sub-Saharan Africa in all languages apart from Arabic and French.
SuperSport CEO Gideon Khobane said: “We’re delighted to have finalised a new deal, as football is one of our popular broadcast pillars. La Liga is a fantastic product and our viewers enjoy the excitement on show from week to week.”
Melcior Soler, director of La Liga’s audiovisual department, added: “SuperSport has been a strong partner for La Liga in Africa for many years and our fan base across the continent has grown significantly during this time. We look forward to further years of success together.”
In related news, La Liga’s dedicated English-language channel, which made its bow in the UK earlier this year, is set to become available to subscribers of DStv, the direct-to-home satellite service owned by MultiChoice with approximately 18.9 million subscribers.
MultiChoice Group has partnered with the United Nations (UN) as an official supporter of its Covid-19 awareness campaign, named Pause.
The Pause campaign, which is aimed at highlighting the dangers of sharing false information related to Covid -19, launched globally on June 30 with information broadcast across Africa through the DStv and GOtv on-air and digital platforms, SuperSport and M-Net properties and Showmax.
Furthermore, the campaign asks people around the world to pause, think and take care before sharing information that could be inaccurate or a result of misinformation and may have harmful effects.
Robert Skinner, senior advisor for global communications at the UN, said: “We are in a moment of global reckoning as Covid-19 and its social and economic consequences challenge the world in unprecedented ways. Misinformation, hate speech and fake news are fueling and distorting all of these challenges and eroding the truth. We are very excited to have MultiChoice onboard as a supporter giving the launch of our campaign reach across Africa. They are uniquely positioned to deliver this important message to their diverse audiences across the continent.”
MultiChoice executive chairman Imtiaz Patel added: “Reliable information is vital to the fight against Covid -19. The dissemination of credible information has become critical to fighting this epidemic, which continues to impact millions across the globe and our continent. We are, therefore, honoured to be able to utilise the continental reach of our broadcast and digital platforms across Africa to empower people with vital information.”
MultiChoice has supported a number of initiatives in the fight against the spread of the pandemic, which continues to wreak havoc across the globe and is being felt acutely across Africa. It also continues to seek opportunities to use its platforms to combat the spread of Covid-19 while supporting initiatives and airing educational and news-related content aligned with the organisation’s commitment to making an impact in the communities where it operates.
Sub-Saharan African pay TV channel SuperSport will broadcast around 350 football matches by the end of July, including games from the returning English Premier League (EPL).
EPL football returns tonight following a three-month break enforced by the coronavirus pandemic. SuperSport’s coverage will include this evening’s clash between Manchester City and Arsenal, as well Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester United on Friday and the Merseyside derby, Everton vs Liverpool, on Sunday.
The MultiChoice-owned channel will also air matches from English second tier the Championship and knock-out tournament the FA Cup, plus games from Italy’s Serie A and Europe-wide competition the Champions League.
Games are being played behind closed doors, with strict Covid-19 protocols in place.
In related news, SuperSport has agreed a three-year renewal with motorsport company Formula One. The agreement will see SuperSport broadcast Formula One racing until 2022, while Formula One will deploy its premium pay OTT offering – F1 TV Pro – across the sub-Saharan region.
For several years, SuperSport has been the sole broadcaster of Formula One races across English-speaking countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
The new Formula One season is set to commence on July 3 with the Austrian Grand Prix.
African sports broadcaster SuperSport and WWE have extended their partnership to include a dedicated WWE channel on DStv offering a live weekly broadcast in more than 50 countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
The new 24/7 channel will launch on January 1, 2020 and will feature shows including Raw, SmackDown, NXT and premium WWE programming such as 205 Live, Ride Along, WWE Chronicle and Table for 3.
Gideon Khobane, chief executive of SuperSport, said: “The fans of the WWE universe asked for it and we are delighted to deliver. WWE programming has proven to be compelling content with riveting storylines and insane action, which our viewers absolutely love. This is a big step and a great start to the new year.”
Stefan Kastenmüller, WWE’s senior VP and group general manager, EMEA, added: “SuperSport is a valued partner who shares our approach to engaging and entertaining our fans. We are thrilled to expand our partnership with a new 24/7 WWE channel which will super-serve our passionate fans in the region.”
MultiChoice Group’s SuperSport has revealed it will stop broadcasting Confederation of African Football (CAF) content until further notice.
The pay TV channel will not be able to air the AFCON under-23 championship and qualifiers, which are meant to kick off this weekend, after the agreement between the CAF and France-based media group Lagardère Sports was terminated.
Joe Heshu, MultiChoice’s executive for corporate affairs, said: “SuperSport is in a difficult position where it cannot broadcast the CAF games without a firm contract in place. SuperSport had previously bought these broadcast rights from Lagardère.”
CAF scrapped a US$1bn TV and marketing rights deal with Lagardère Sports after a Cairo court ruled that the agreement violated Egyptian competition rules because Lagardère was chosen as CAF’s exclusive agent for rights for an uninterrupted 20-year period without an open tender.
MultiChoice’s Supersport channel has acquired the rights to broadcast live games from the Sky Bet Championship and Carabao Cup during the 2019/20 football season.
The Sky Bet Championship, which is second highest division in English soccer after the Premier League, will be broadcast on all DStv packages and available to GOtv Max and GOtv Plus customers.
The teams featuring in the league’s 2019/20 season include Leeds United, Derby County, Cardiff City, Queens Park Rangers, West Bromwich Albion and Stoke City.
The Carabao Cup is an annual knockout competition and includes all 92 clubs within the top four levels of English football. Fixtures for round two of the competition take place on August 27 and 28 and comprise Queens Park Rangers versus Portsmouth, Fulham versus Southampton and Nottingham Forest versus Derby County.
Pay TV operator MultiChoice has rolled out a pop-up channel offering WWE content on its DStv platform.
Available now, the channel will give subscribers to DStv’s Compact, Premium and Compact Plus packages access to US wrestling giant WWE shows like SmackDown Live, Raw, WrestleMania and SummerSlam until the end of the year. DStv Access and Family subscribers have access until August 21.
With the WWE brand facing new competition from All Elite Wrestling in the US, it is on the lookout for markets in Africa to not only grow revenue but also acquire fans and a new audience for its content.
Gideon Khobane, CEO of SuperSport, which is behind the pop-up, said: “WWE has proved to be an excellent acquisition for viewers all across the continent. The new pop-up channel is a natural evolution that shows the growth and excitement around the SuperSport broadcasts of WWE.”
SuperSport acquired the WWE licensing rights from e.tv in 2017.
Pay TV channel SuperSport has added an Olympics-focused network to its digital platforms ahead of next year’s Olympic Games in Toyko.
Olympic Channel, which is operated by the International Olympic Committee, will engage and inform audiences on the Olympics throughout the year, according to SuperSport.
Programming includes documentaries, series, breaking news stories on the road to the Olympics, insights into the next edition of the Youth Olympic Games and sports from across the globe.
Mark Parkman, general manager of Olympic Channel, said: “With Tokyo 2020 only a year away, the Olympic Channel looks forward to further developing its partnership with SuperSport across multiple platforms with the common aim of building excitement for the forthcoming Olympic Games through relevant and local programming that engages the audience.”
SuperSport CEO Gideon Khobane said the channel would complement SuperSport’s linear broadcast offering.
“The countdown has begun for the 2020 Olympic Games and SuperSport is ready to bring the many stories and the exciting build-up to viewers across Africa,” he added.
Pay TV platform DStv has launched four new SuperSport channels namely SS1, SS4, SS11 and SS12 in high-definition (HD) in order to give subscribers a better quality picture experience.
The introduction of these new channels is an attempt to make DStv stand out from other pay TV operators. Subscribers now have access to watch sports such as rugby, golf and MultiChoice Diski Shield Matches, Premier League and Italian Serie A games alongside UFC and EFC fight events in HD picture quality.
“SuperSport is committed to achieving a world-class viewing experience for all customers to enjoy and by providing our viewers with cutting-edge technology like HD capabilities, DStv aims to further enhance customer satisfaction,” said Gideon Khobane, CEO of SuperSport.
African pay TV company MultiChoice has acquired the broadcast rights to the 2018/19 Emirates FA Cup, the knock-out tournament organised by the Football Association of England.
MultiChoice customers will be able to watch tournament from its third round this weekend, as well as games from other football competitions such as the English Premier League, the European Champions League and Italy’s La Liga.
MultiChoice Africa CEO Hennie Visser said: “Our aim is to deliver a front-row view of the best football titles in the world for our valued DStv and GOTV customers. So from January 4, they will be able to enjoy the Emirates FA Cup live on SuperSport.
“This is part of our continuous efforts to put our customers at the heart of everything we do by making sure we deliver a quality service and the world’s best video entertainment at great value to our customers.”
FA Cup games will air on SuperSport on both GOtv and DStv.