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Nigeria: No AFCON on DStv

January 5, 2024

By Chris Forrester

Football fans in Nigeria who subscribe to DStv expected the pay-TV broadcaster to cover all the matches of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON_. But not so.

The football tournament is due to start in a few days and subscribers are unhappy that the biennial competition will not be covered by DStv or its SuperSport channel.

The tournament kick off with hosts Ivory Coast vs Guinea-Bissau on January 13th, and a trio of matches on January 14th with Nigeria playing Equatorial Guinea, Egypt vs Mozambique, and Ghana vs Cape Verde. But not on DStv, unless there’s a last-minute change of heart and payments – which to a certain extent happened on January 4th, when a rival to DStv, StarTimes, announced that they had acquired the TV rights.

StarTimes, which offers digital terrestrial and satellite TV services across 30 African countries, serving over 13 million subscribers, tweeted the news from its Rwandan account on Thursday. A spokesperson confirmed that Nigerian subscribers would also be able to watch the games live on StarTimes sports channels when the tournament kicks off.

This coverage will likely lead to a surge in new subscribers signing up with StarTimes in nations whose teams have qualified for what is Africa’s largest international football tournament.

Some TV rights are also held by a Togo-based broadcaster (New World TV). MultiChoice says that games will be available of certain sub-Saharan Free-to-Air channels subject to negotiations. Other rights are held by Qatar’s beIN Sports. Togo’s New World TV said: “[We] are introducing new ways of consuming video content through its strong partnerships with various mobile operators and its television networks.”

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