Econet Media and the National Football League (NFL) have reached an agreement that will see Econet Media’s Kwesé Sports become the exclusive linear TV broadcaster of NFL content in a number of markets in sub-Saharan Africa as part of a five-year deal. The deal – brokered by ESPN Media Distribution – includes live games and will kick-off at the beginning of the 2016- 2017 season.
The agreement will give Econet Media broadcast rights in Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Swaziland, South Sudan, Sierra Leone, Tanzania (including Zanzibar), Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The agreement is part of a multi-year deal that includes, at a minimum, five live games per week during the regular season including Thursday Night Football, three games each Sunday, Monday Night Football, as well as every game of the NFL playoffs and the annual Super Bowl. As part of the agreement, Econet Media will be making select games available free-to-air.
Econet Media will also be the broadcast flagship for ESPN NFL studio content– such as NFL Live and Sunday NFL Countdown – and archive programming from NFL Films on Kwesé Sports, giving African fans comprehensive coverage throughout each season.
As part of the deal, Econet Media will also be involved in actively promoting and growing the sport in Sub-Saharan Africa, as the NFL looks to develop its fan base across the continent.
Joseph Hundah, CEO of Econet Media, said, "This is another great win for sports fans in Africa. The NFL is a premium sports brand which has fans all over the continent. The growing interest in signature events like the Super Bowl is indicative of the fact that African sports fans are looking for greater access to the NFL. In line with our strategy to make Kwesé Sports the home of premium American sports content in Africa, we will continue to pursue the best content for our audiences across the continent. We look forward to building on this exciting partnership going forward"
“We are excited to partner with Econet Media to further extend our reach and to provide fans of the NFL in Africa with more content than ever before” said Mark Waller, Executive Vice President of International at the NFL. “Additionally, with so many great players of African origin in the NFL, this is a great opportunity to use our content to further inspire future athletes.”
Heather White, Director of Media Distribution, ESPN EMEA, added, “We are proud to represent these rights and thrilled to have helped broker a deal with Econet Media that will serve African sports fans. This agreement will deliver hugely engaging and exciting content and contribute to the growth of the NFL’s popularity across the globe. We look forward to continuing our work with these two ambitious brands.”
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About Econet Media
A subsidiary company of the globally networked Econet Group founded by Executive Chairman Strive Masiyiwa, Econet Media is a dynamic content business driving the development of Kwesé, a fresh new television brand. Created for Sub-Saharan African audiences, Kwesé is inspired by the ‘TV everywhere’ revolution. As such, a range of Kwesé products will be made available on satellite and internet based platforms, including video-on-demand and mobile options. Focussed on providing premium, affordable, exclusive viewing choices, Kwesé products will offer sports, music, movies, series, kids, lifestyle, faith, news and other programming. Consumers will also benefit from the infrastructural strength of Econet Media sister companies, Liquid Telecom and Econet Wireless. Their expertise and capacity in the areas of mobile and fixed telephony services, broadband, internet, satellite and fibre optic networks will be utilized to establish Kwesé products. In addition, Econet Media have invested intensively to build its own operational assets.