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HomeHeadlines#AFCON2023: Why DSTV Fails To Secure   Broadcasting Rights, Despite its Financial Muscle

#AFCON2023: Why DSTV Fails To Secure   Broadcasting Rights, Despite its Financial Muscle

#AFCON2023: Why DSTV Fails To Secure   Broadcasting Rights, Despite its Financial Muscle

 

#AFCON2023: Why DSTV Fails To Secure   Broadcasting Rights, Despite its Financial Muscle

CAF signed a groundbreaking 3-year broadcasting deal with New World TV. Here’s why it’s interesting (it’s not why you think)…

The deal gives New World TV rights for both free-to-air and Pay TV for most of Africa. It covers 13 competitions, including the 2023 and 2025 AFCONs, and is reportedly worth around $80 million (per SABC).

On the surface, this is a bold new step – an African broadcaster broadcasting the continent’s premier competitions.

Typically major rights such as these go to big internationally owned corporations, such as Canal+ or BeIn, or South African-based Supersport.

According to CAF President, Motsepe, this ‘is the biggest investment by a Pan-African broadcaster in CAF’s history.’

Here’s where it gets interesting…

New World TV is a new kid on the block. Just over two years ago, the company was unknown outside the tiny nation of Togo 🇹🇬.

Then, in July 2021 it shocked the continent by winning the rights to air the FIFA World Cup across Francophone Africa.

It has since secured rights for competitions such as the Bundesliga, FA Cup, Euro 2024, and the 2023 Women’s World Cup.

In total, all these rights are worth over $100M.

However, the network still has little presence beyond a few French-speaking African countries. According to the Africa Report, New World TV claimed just 100,000 subscribers in mid-2022, although ‘it hoped to acquire between seven and ten million subscribers in sub-Saharan Africa within the next three years.’

It begs two questions:

Firstly – with AFCON 2023 just a month away, how easy will it be for audiences across Africa to follow the games?

New World TV channels are not available across most of the continent, and they will likely have to move quickly to secure deals with in-country broadcasters. Previous NWTV broadcasts have had significant broadcasting issues.

Secondly – how can such a small company compete financially with DSTV, BeIn and Canal+?

Well, according to investigative journalism outlet Josimar, it was CAF President Motsepe’s own company Sanlam that was the guarantor for the loan that allowed NWTV to buy the 2022 World Cup rights…

Even with extraordinary growth over the last two years, it’s not clear where the company has found the funds to finance this latest conquest.

And with CAF’s flagship tournament just around the corner and no clear distribution channels for most of the countries for which it has just won the rights, it’s also not clear what NWTV’s revenue model is going to be…

What do you think? Is this an opportunity to change the narrative around African football? Or something else?

 

Credit – James Torvaney

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