DSTV CEO Marc Jury said they have not ruled SuperSport TV broadcasting the Africa Cup of Nations finals that are starting on the 13 January until 11 February in Ivory Coast, saying “we still have time to pass”.
SuperSport TV came under huge criticism on Wednesday after a leaked statement from the sister company – MultiChoice that it will not show the Africa Cup of Nations, the biggest tournament on the African continent, due to rights not being secured, with the reaction of social media going off the roof to criticise the company.
Early in December, the Confederation of African Football (“CAF”) concluded a historic Media Rights Agreement with Pan-African broadcaster New World TV for CAF’s Free to Air and Pay-Tv English and Local Languages Media Rights for Sub-Saharan territories for CAF Competitions and Events from 2023-2025, the statement said then
It added: “Several global broadcasters and agencies took part in a highly competitive tender process for CAF Media Rights which was ultimately awarded to New World TV.
“New World TV has previously acquired major sporting rights including the pay-tv rights across Sub-Saharan Africa for the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar.
“The Media Rights Agreement between CAF and New World TV includes the rights to the upcoming Total Energies CAF Africa Cup of Nations (“AFCON”) Côte d’Ivoire 2023 which presents an exciting opportunity for African football to reach new audiences in Africa and globally with an ambitious and dynamic Pan-African broadcaster.”
There was an expectation that SuperSport would follow the Togolese broadcaster but with few days before the tournament kick-offs in the West African country, SuperSport had not said anything.
But a leaked document, which didn’t have dates in it, was shared widely on X on Wednesday and this has led Jury to say SuperSport will confirm something, though he didn’t give an update on whether the broadcaster has secured the rights or not via sublicense through New World TV or straight from CAF.
“We are going to issue the release shortly, in the next couple of hours about that,” said Jury to iDiski Times.
“So, we are going to put a release in the next short while.”
When asked what the release will entail, Jury said: “It will be about it (the update if we are broadcasting the tournament or not).
“Listen, you never know. There is still time to pass that. But if you can hold on in the next hour or two, I’m sure the release will be out.”
If SuperSport secures the right this late, it will mean plenty of work will have to be done, such as approaching legends around Africa to be part of the broadcasting to analyze these games as they have done in the past.
As it stands, SuperSport has not secured the rights to show all CAF club competitions this season.