SuperSports is off. Who will broadcast the 2023 AFCON?

Multichoice-owned SuperSports has lost its media rights to air the 2023 African Cup of the Nations. Where else can you watch the tournament? We have a list.

SuperSports is off. Who will broadcast the 2023 AFCON?
Victor Osimhen, 2023 African Best Player of The Year

On Saturday, January 13, the Alassane Ouattara Olympic Stadium of Ebimpe in Abidjan will host the kickoff of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), a continental male football tournament, featuring a match between Côte d'Ivoire and Guinea-Bissau.

As football enthusiasts look forward to this competition, SuperSports, a sports network owned by the South African broadcaster Multichoice and available on DStv and GOtv, will not be broadcasting the matches set to take place in major cities across Côte d'Ivoire. The broadcasting rights for these matches have been acquired by New World TV, a Togo-based broadcaster.

Launched in Lomé in 2015, New World TV has made major inroads into the world of global sports broadcasting by acquiring the broadcast rights in French-speaking Africa for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, as well as the rights for a number of FIFA and UEFA events, including the 2024 and 2028 UEFA European Football Championships and Rugby World Cup – France 2023.

In December, AFCON announced that New World TV secured the media rights for the Confédération Africaine de Football (CAF)'s Free-to-Air and Pay-TV coverage in English and Local Languages for Sub-Saharan territories for CAF competitions and events from 2023 to 2025.

The deal which is worth about $80 million also covers CAF men's and women's Champions League, the CAF Women’s AFCON, the CAF Confederation Cup, the U17 and U20 AFCON, and Beach AFCON.

This deal implies that any broadcaster that wants to air AFCON matches will route through New World TV. According to CAF President Patrice Motsepe, "The Media Rights Agreement with New World TV is the biggest investment by a Pan-African broadcaster in CAF’s history. We are very proud to partner with such a globally competitive and innovative broadcasting company which has adapted quickly to the changing demands and viewing patterns of the modern football audience. New World TV is also introducing new ways of consuming video content through its strong partnerships with various mobile operators and its television networks."

The broadcasting rights were previously held by the African Union of Broadcasters, SuperSport International, and Canal Plus. 

In Africa, TV and radio are the main ways people follow sports, especially football, which holds over 60% of the market share.

AFCON live streaming alternatives to Multichoice's SuperSport

There are rumours circulating that Multichoice might secure a sub-license from New World TV, but no official confirmation has been provided yet. Meanwhile, StarTimes Kenya has confirmed its plans to broadcast the competition, and it will also be available in Nigeria through the same channel.

In North Africa and the Gulf region, the tournament will be shown on Qatari broadcaster beIN Sports. In Sub-Saharan Africa, the PayTV French rights are held by CANAL+.

With the kickoff approaching, more broadcasters are likely going to make similar announcements in the coming days.  

Last month, CAF met some of the leading 29 African Free-to-Air Broadcasters in Lomé. The two-day workshop was hosted by New World TV.

"[We] and [our] TV Rights Agencies are working hard to ensure that millions in Africa and Globally have access to Africa's biggest event," says CAF.

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