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ESPN extends African reach with MultiChoice deal

South Africa-based pay TV operator MultiChoice and Disney have struck a deal that will see sports service ESPN launch across MultiChoice’s African markets on the DStv platform.

Two 25-hour ESPN channels will be made available to DStv customer from July 29, bringing sports content such as the National Basketball Association (NBA), National Football League (NFL), National Hockey League (NHL)and Major League Baseball (MLB) to DStv subscribers.

The channels will also feature live football from the English Football League (EFL), Scottish Premier Football League (SPFL), Dutch Eredivisie and Major League Soccer (MLS), as well as local sports including the West African Football Union (WAFU) Cup of Nations and featured boxing tournaments and events.

The resumed NBA will be available to viewers from July 31

In addition to live sports, the addition of ESPN 1 and ESPN 2 o the DStv line-up will also bring the sports broadcaster’s sports documentary and studio programming to African viewers.

Disney rebranded the former Fox Sports channels in Africa as ESPN last year following its acquisition of 20th Century Fox’s entertainment assets.

“As Africa’s leading video entertainment platform, we are unwavering in our commitment to ensure that we continue to find the best available content to delight our customers, both now and into the future. We endeavour to deliver both world-class international content as well as the very best in local content, giving our loyal customers a never-ending selection of outstanding entertainment. In addition to being the home of American sports, ESPN is equally well-known for its dedication to great storytelling, something we as Africa’s most-loved storyteller can identify with,” said MultiChoice Group CEO Calvo Mawela.

“From reliving the greatest moments in sports history to seeing those moments being made, ESPN’s compelling content and unique personality will be a complementary addition to MultiChoice Group’s sports offering. We are thrilled to be bringing the achievements and triumphs of both international and local athletes, our quality storytelling and innovative programming to a whole new audience of sports fans in Africa,” said Christine Service, SVP and country manager of The Walt Disney Company Africa.