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Why DSTV won’t be able to air AFCON 2023 tournament this January

The Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) is the biggest football tournament on the continent, featuring 24 teams and some of the world’s best players. The 34th edition of the tournament will take place in Ivory Coast from January 13 to February 11, 2024. However, millions of football fans in Africa will not be able to watch the games on DSTV, the leading pay TV service in the region.

SuperSport, the sports channel owned by Multichoice, the parent company of DSTV, has announced that it will not broadcast the AFCON 2023 tournament on its platforms, due to the inability to reach a mutually beneficial agreement with the Confederation of African Football (CAF), the organizer of the tournament. SuperSport and CAF could not agree on the value and terms of the broadcasting rights for the tournament.

 

This is not the first time that SuperSport and CAF have clashed over broadcasting rights. In 2019, CAF cancelled their arrangement with French agency Lagardere, which had sold the rights to SuperSport for 12 years, from 2017 to 2028, for $1 billion. The cancellation was due to a ruling by the Competition Commission of Egypt, which declared the deal as anti-competitive and unlawful.

 

Another reason why SuperSport will not broadcast the AFCON 2023 tournament is that CAF has already sold the broadcasting rights for both free-to-air and pay-television rights to major competitions across sub-Saharan Africa to New World TV, a Togo-based broadcast company. New World TV secured the exclusive rights to cover both AFCON 2023 in Ivory Coast and 2025 in Morocco, as well as other CAF competitions.

 

New World TV is a relatively new player in the broadcasting industry, having been founded in 2019 by Togolese businessman Fabrice Sawegnon, who also owns Voodoo Group, a leading communication and media group in West Africa.

Despite the setback of not being able to watch the AFCON 2023 tournament on DSTV, football fans in Africa still have some alternative options to enjoy the games. Multichoice has partnered with some free-to-air channels to broadcast the tournament on their platforms. Another option is to stream the games online, using platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, or CAF’s official website.

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