Chinese-owned pan-African pay TV outfit StarTimes has acquired the rights to top-tier Ghanaian football for the next 10 years as part of its drive to build its presence in the region.
The company has struck a deal with the Ghanaian football association for the rights to air Ghana Premier League football, the MTN FA Cup, the Ghana Women’s League and Ghana Juvenile League games over a 10-year period for a reported US$17.95 million (€17 million).
StarTimes president Pang Xinxing said his group had an ambition to bring Ghanaian football to its nine million subscribers across Africa.
According to local reports, the deal will see StarTimes offer material support to Ghanaian Football, including the creation of artificial-turf grounds and the provision of outside broadcast equipment to the association.
Ghanaian football association president Kwesi Nyantakyi said that under the deal between the pair, StarTimes would support the country’s football through production and promotion of completions and through additional investment.
StarTimes holds a number of key sports rights in Africa, including Bundesliga, Ligue 1 and Serie A rights and rights to European 2018 World Cup qualifying rounds.
StarTimes launched its pay TV service in Ghana in October, offering a range of packages with up to 440 channels including local and international services.
The pay TV provider is offering three packages in Ghana – Super for GHS60 (€13.50), with over 90 channels, Smart, for GHS30, offering 60 channelos, and Nova for GHS15, which provides 30 channels. A range of Chinese and Indian add-on channels are available for GHS80.
StarTimes has had a rocky road to get to the point of launching a service in Ghana. Two years ago it became involved in a legal dispute with the country’s government over a cancelled contract to provide digital-terrestrial services to pave the way for Ghanaian digital switchover.