AFCON: Relief for Nigerian fans as national broadcaster secures rights

Football fans in Nigeria can rest easy now on watching the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) from the comfort of their homes.

This comes after the national broadcaster Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) announced that it has acquired the rights to televise all the AFCON matches.

The Super Eagles, who are among the favourites, will be taking on hosts Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea and Guinea-Bissau in Group A.

Many Nigerian football fans had been left in a state of confusion after Multichoice Africa, the parent company of DStv, said it was not going to show the AFCON on its Supersport channel (a decision the continent’s biggest pay-TV operator has now reconsidered).

However, a statement from the NTA has now confirmed that all 52 matches will be transmitted by the national broadcaster in Nigeria.

“NTA signs Memorandum of Understanding with Afro Sports for transmission of 52 matches of Africa Cup of Nations in Cote D’Ivoire,” the statement read.

Supersport makes u-turn AFCON broadcasting rights

Earlier in January, fans across the continent hit out at DStv for failing to secure the rights to broadcast the AFCON despite being the continent’s biggest pay-TV operator. A glimmer of hope emerged as StarTimes, another cable operator, successfully secured exclusive broadcasting rights for the highly anticipated Africa Cup of Nations and all CAF events scheduled for 2024.

However, Multichoice (DStv's parent company) has walked back on its decision after striking a “commercially viable” deal with rightsholders New World TV (NWTV) to broadcasts all matches on its flagship DStv, as well as GOtv across the continent.

“SuperSport will broadcast all 52 matches of the TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations Ivory Coast 2023 (Afcon) live after MultiChoice secured the rights to broadcast the continent’s showpiece tournament, which kicks off on 13 January 2024 until 11 February 2024,” read a statement made available on SuperSport website.

This move will afford Nigerian fans with option to choose between national broadcaster NTA and DStv.

The right for the AFCON and other CAF-organised competitions is currently in the possession of the Togo-based satellite television network NWTV. The network has signed a broadcast deal with CAF that will see them also show the CAF Champions League and CAF Confederations Cup in 46 countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

CAF President Patrice Motsepe described the new broadcast deal with New World TV as “the biggest investment by a Pan-African broadcaster in CAF's history.”

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Emmanuel Ayamga

Emmanuel Ayamga is an African sports writer, with bylines on DW, Al Jazeera, World Soccer Magazine and These Football Times.