SuperSport explains why it has stopped broadcasting CAF matches

Nigerians were disappointed when they could not watch the national U-23 team’s games at the on-going African U-23 Nations Cup in Egypt, which also serves as the qualifier for the football event of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. The U-23 Eagles lost their first game in Egypt 0-1 to Cote d’Ivoire and beat Zambia 3-1 in the second match of the competition.
On Wednesday, the Super Eagles’ fans, who were not in Uyo, were forced to watch a poorly produced telecast of the Nigeria versus Benin Republic African Nations Cup qualifier because the broadcast rights holder, SuperSport failed to broadcast it.
Apart from Nigerian games, SuperSport has stopped broadcasting all Confederation of African Football (CAF) matches until further notice.
SuperSport acquired the broadcast rights to televise these continental matches across the continent and have been running promotions in the past week inviting its audience to get ready for the AFCON qualifiers.
But the channel on Tuesday sent text messages to its customers confirming otherwise.
“Please note that SuperSport will not broadcast CAF content, commencing with Under-23 Africa Cup of Nations and qualifiers until further notice,” read the message.
The South African company attributes this move to a decision by CAF to terminate an agreement with French broadcast company, Lagardere, which in turn supplies the content to SuperSport.
According to Daily Nation of Kenya, Multichoice Group executive for corporate affairs, Joe Heshu, said the outfit was in a “difficult” position following this decision.
“We are in a difficult position where we cannot broadcast the Caf games when we don’t have a firm contractual arrangement in place. SuperSport previously acquired these broadcast rights from Lagardere,” said Heshu.
Caf maintains the agency agreement signed with Lagardere breached Egyptian competition rules because Lagardere was appointed as Caf’s exclusive agent for marketing and media rights for a 20-year period without open tender. This development denies football fans across the continent a platform to watch their national games in action.

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