It’s been three years since ESPN terminated its services in Africa. After entering a broadcast rights agreement with Econet Media’s Kwesé Sports, they’ve managed to pull back the Disney-owned company to Africa. Going across 19 countries in Africa, ESPN will air (exclusive to Kwesé ) in the continent early next year.
In 2013, ESPN pulled their ESPN and ESPN Classic channels from Africa, Europe, and the Middle East. This decision was taken because the channels were no longer financially viable.
While announcing the deal in a news release, Econet promised to provide viewers with the most comprehensive sports coverage in Africa, offering a wide range of sports and thousands of hours of programming.
“African audiences will benefit from industry-leading content from the world’s leading sports media company ESPN, in conjunction with Kwesé’s premium sports offering, while Kwesé’s pan-African reach and its TV everywhere multiplatform distribution capability will deliver the content to viewers through TV and digital platforms making it accessible to sports fans wherever they are,” reads a statement.
The chief executive of Econet Media, Joseph Hundah, said ESPN and Kwesé Sports will also launch an African edition of the ESPN website and mobile app. The new KweseESPN.com, and its accompanying app is expected to combine ESPN’s coverage of global sports and offer a world-class digital platform with local African sports news, analyses, and perspectives from Kwesé.
“Ultimately our goals are the same, to bring fans the best in global sports. The synergies between Kwese Sports 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,” added Joseph Hundah.
Moreover, Kwesé Sports will add NCAA American football and basketball to its existing broadcast rights for the NFL, NHL, and the NBA. In addition to the original SportsCenter programming of soccer, American football, NBA, boxing, X Games and Special Olympics, the agreement will include ESPN films and documentaries.
Kwesé sports also features coverage of English Premier League, Formula One, international Cricket, Aviva Premiership Rugby, Spanish Copa Del Rey, Brazilian football, among others.