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Kwesé secures exclusive IAAF athletics in ESPN deal

Kwesé SportNew African DTH pay TV service Kwesé TV has secured the rights to air top international athletics competitions after parent Econet Media struck a deal with ESPN’s media distribution unit.

The agreement with ESPN, which represents the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), will make Kwesé TV the exclusive broadcaster of IAAF events and content in sub-Saharan Africa. The tournaments will be made available across Kwesé’s free and pay TV channels, as well as the Kwesé Play on-demand service.

The deal includes the next three IAAF World Championships – the 2019 and 2021 events in Doha, Qatar and Eugene, Oregon, US and the 2023 competition – as well as the next three IAAF World Indoor Championships, beginning with the 2018 event  in Birmingham, UK, and more than a dozen other competitions in the IAAF World Athletics Series.

The rights agreement is the latest in Kwesé and ESPN’s partnership after the pair signed a long-term agreement in October 2016. This year the partnership has launched a dedicated ESPN channel on Kwesé Sports, and the KweséESPN.com website and app.

“Our exclusive collaboration with ESPN was forged on our collective commitment to bringing the best in world class sporting content to African audiences. Athletics enjoys a huge following on the continent with African sports men and women dominating in a number of categories. The IAAF is an important addition to our Kwese Sports portfolio as we extend our offering and build Africa’s most diverse sports destination,” said Joseph Hunday, president and group CEO, Econet Media.