ESPN International is partnering with Econet Media’s Kwesé for the launch new TV channel across 19 Sub-Saharan African markets.
The sports content broadcaster has teamed up with South Africa-based Econet for the roll-out of a channel via its ‘TV everywhere’ platform in early 2017, followed by an African edition of the ESPN website and mobile app later next year.
It is not the first occasion ESPN has collaborated with a local broadcaster to reach regional audiences. As well as its deal with BT Sport in the UK and Sony in India, the Disney-owned network signed an exclusive deal with Tencent earlier this year opening up access to Chinese viewers.
The deal brings Kwesé the rights to broadcast the NCAA American football and basketball, alongside its existing content from the NFL, NHL and NBA. It already screens a range of international sports, including Formula One and top-flight football from England, Spain and Brazil.
Russell Wolff, executive vice president and managing director of ESPN International, said: “ESPN’s focus around the world is simple: to serve sports fans. This long-term collaboration across television and digital media will do just that – serve millions of sports fans across Africa with exceptional products, content and coverage.
“We are very excited about the opportunities that lie ahead as we bring ESPN’s great content, including SportsCenter, and decades of experience in sports media together with one of Africa’s most dynamic and vibrant companies.”
Econet CEO Joseph Hundah added: “Ultimately our goals are the same, to bring fans the best in global sports. The synergies between Kwesé and ESPN allow us to achieve that goal by leveraging our collective ability to deliver premium African and global sports programming to sports fans across Africa.”