Econet Secures NFL Content for Sub-Saharan Africa


JOHANNESBURG: Econet Media has signed an agreement with the National Football League (NFL) that will see Kwesé Sports become the exclusive linear TV broadcaster of NFL content in sub-Saharan Africa.

The five-year deal, brokered by ESPN Media Distribution, includes live games and will begin at the start of the 2016-17 season. It is part of a multiyear partnership that includes a minimum of five live games per week during the regular season, including Thursday Night Football, three games every Sunday, Monday Night Football, as well as every game of the NFL playoffs and the annual Super Bowl. Econet Media will make 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. In addition, Econet Media will help promote the popularity of American football in sub-Saharan Africa as the NFL strives to expand its fan base in the region.

The agreement will give Econet Media broadcast rights in Botswana, the 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.

Joseph Hundah, the CEO of Econet Media, commented: “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,” noted Mark Waller, the executive VP 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, the director of media distribution at 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.”