Naspers owned pay TV broadcaster, Supersport, has secured exclusive rights to screen the main English Premier League for another three seasons starting 2019.
Supersports has had the exclusive rights to broadcast the games since the EPL’s inaugural season in 1992, with the current deal expiring in 2019.
The new deal covers the 2019-2022 seasons and is for the Sub-Saharan Africa region. See the EPL announcement on the company’s website here.
According to some people with knowledge of how EPL’s licensing works, there are only two types of rights sold by EPL in Africa; The main rights where the broadcaster screens all matches, which is what Supersport has had since 1992, and Free-to-air (FTA) rights which gives the broadcaster the rights to a single minor match every Saturday. These are the rights that Kwese TV currently has.
The EPL announcement quotes Gideon Khobane, CEO of SuperSport,
“SuperSport is proud to have been a partner of the Premier League since its inception 25 years ago and we know our customers love this league. We’re delighted to continue this partnership for a further five years, as a sign of our commitment to continue to provide our loyal DStv and GOtv customers throughout the continent with the best sporting action from around the world.”
It’s not clear if Kwese TV, Star Times and other broadcasters on the continent are also renewing their FTA deals with the EPL.
So far however, this new deal means Multichoice has successfully defended its most valuable content on DStv. Live soccer content drives the subscriptions of DStv’s bundles (called Bouquets by company), especially the more expensive ones.
A few days ago, FIFA announced that the Sub-Saharan broadcasting rights to the 2017-2018 games had been won by Supersport, Econet Media (that is Kwese TV), StarTimes, SABC and CANAL+. It may therefore be the case that some of these TV companies also participated in the tender for EPL games and subsequently lost to Supersport.
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