Fox International Channels (FIC), a 21st Century Fox company, has confirmed the launch of the company’s flagship sports TV brand, Fox Sports, in sub-Saharan Africa. Two new channels, Fox Sports and Fox Sports 2, will replace Setanta Sports and Setanta Action, respectively.
The two channels are set to launch in August 2014 to coincide with the kick-off of the new 2014-15 football league season. The rebranding and re-launch of the channels consolidates Fox brands in the region, and creates the most dynamic and diverse sports network available anywhere.
Setanta Sports and Setanta Action were originally integrated into the sub-Saharan sports channel bouquet, Setanta Africa Services, following its acquisition by FIC in October 2013. As with Setanta, the new Fox Sports channels will be available to more than one million households throughout sub-Saharan Africa.
Fox Sports will replace Setanta Sports in the region. The channel will focus mainly on football, broadcasting more than 2,000 hours of content every year with live coverage of the major international football leagues, including Ligue 1, Eredivisie, Belgian Pro league, English Championship, Liga MX, Major League Soccer and Coupe de la Ligue. In addition, the channel will provide delayed coverage of league and cup matches from club channels, Barça TV, Chelsea TV, Manchester City TV, and the Milan Channel.
Fox Sports will also offer daily news programming and a wide range of football-related ‘magazine’ shows and other football content.
Setanta Action, meanwhile, will be rebranded as Fox Sports 2, offering an alternative sports selection to bring African viewers a wide variety of international sports, including Euroleague Basketball, Formula E Motor Racing, DTM touring cars, National Rugby League, Ice Hockey, Mixed Martial Arts, Kickboxing, and Boxing. In addition, FOX Sports 2 will show extra football content, including delayed coverage of league games, as well as alternative live coverage from competitions such as the Spanish Copa del Rey and additional club channels.
“We are thrilled with the launch of Fox Sports in Africa, which is the culmination of a process that began last year with the acquisition of Setanta Africa,” said Alessandro Tucci, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Fox International Channels Africa. “Fox Sports is the #1 global sports television brand. Now, African viewers can experience the raw excitement and emotion of the world’s major football leagues, and a huge variety of other sports, in the unique style of Fox Sports. We are as passionate about football and our other sports as the fans are.”