Picture: 123RF/marcociannarel
Picture: 123RF/marcociannarel

Pay-TV operator MultiChoice will add sports content from the US's ESPN starting on July 29.

On Monday MultiChoice said it had signed a deal with The Walt Disney Company Africa “which will see a significant addition to the sports available to its customers across the continent.”

The new agreement will see two 24-hour ESPN channels coming to DStv from  July 29.

This is not the first time that ESPN has been in Africa or with DStv.  

The channel was previously part of the DStv bouquet before Disney pulled the plug in 2013. ESPN made a return to the continent in 2017 when it was offered on Econet Media's Kwese service. With Kwese's recent demise, ESPN seems to have  rekindled its relationship with MultiChoice.

The former Naspers company has been busy in recent months inking international deals and launching new services.

In June, MultiChoice said it would add content from international online streaming giants Netflix, the world's largest player with 183-million subscribers, and Amazon Prime Video, boasting more than 75-million users worldwide, to its service in a bid to attract new customers.

The deal will help the US companies gain a bigger foothold in Africa where MultiChoice has close to 20-million customers across 50 countries, while helping MultiChoice to keep subscribers on its platforms with a variety of content from Netflix and Amazon.

Earlier in July, MultiChoice launched a new streaming service, Showmax Pro, with live sport, music and news channels, in its latest move to increase online streaming subscribers. This is an extension of the five-year-old Showmax platform.

MultiChoice has not said whether ESPN will be made available on the new Showmax Pro.

MultiChoice group CEO Calvo Mawela said: “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.”

Together with the live sports programming, viewers will have access to ESPN films, series, news, talk shows, highlights, sports documentaries and studio programming.


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