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Aviva Premiership Rugby breaks new ground in sub Saharan Africa

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Premiership Rugby today confirmed three significant television deals that will see Aviva Premiership Rugby broadcast in more than 50 African countries from September.

The three new contracts are the first distribution deals announced following Premiership Rugby’s new five-year international TV rights agreement for Aviva Premiership Rugby and the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s Series with RDA TV and Altice group for all markets outside UK & Ireland and USA

The African deals include:

  • The first time Aviva Premiership Rugby has had three different broadcasters in sub-Sahara Africa.
  • Two new broadcasters in Africa for Premiership Rugby – Ma Chaine Sport and Kwese Sports – alongside long-time broadcaster SuperSport

Ma Chaine Sport, owned by international telco group Altice, will broadcast exclusive French language rights to Premiership live matches, and non-exclusive English-language weekly highlights programmes in sub-Sahara Africa, excluding South Africa. Altice will also broadcast Premiership Rugby in France, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Switzerland via its SFR Sport networks, and also in Portugal.

SuperSport has licensed rights to all matches in the Premiership and weekly highlights programmes and will be the only broadcaster showing this in South Africa. SuperSport has the rights in all languages and will broadcast every match produced, a minimum of 135 per season. This is a three-year agreement from September 2016.

SuperSport also has extensive digital platforms on which they deliver this world-class content. SuperSport simulcasts this channel (and others) both on the SuperSport.com website as well as on its SuperSport apps on iOS and Android platforms. SuperSport additionally shows extensive highlights on its website, the SuperSport apps as well as on DStv CatchUp on the DStv Explora set-top box.

Kwese Sports has acquired the exclusive English language rights to all live Aviva Premiership Rugby matches and the non-exclusive rights to the English-language weekly highlights programmes for sub-Saharan Africa excluding South Africa. This is a five-year deal and Kwese Sports plans to broadcast more than 100 matches per season. Kwesé Sports is a key component of Kwesé TV, which will begin rolling out its media entertainment services later this year (in sub-Saharan Africa), on both internet and satellite based platforms. Kwesé TV is wholly owned by Econet Media, a subsidiary company of the Econet Group.

Dominic Hayes Premiership Rugby’s Commercial Director said: "Aviva Premiership Rugby has never been a more attractive proposition to broadcasters all over the world. We have just enjoyed a compelling year, with Saracens achieving a memorable Aviva Premiership Rugby and European Rugby Champions Cup double and we anticipate that next season will be the most competitive season in our history.

"Premiership Rugby has a substantially increasing international profile as the best and most competitive league in the world.  The recently announced broadcast deal with NBC Sport in the USA along with a number of other new international TV agreements for 2016-17 will see Aviva Premiership Rugby broadcast in 200 countries, reaching over 170 million households around the world.

"The new contract with RDA TV and Altice group is an important step forward for Premiership Rugby, not only delivering a worldwide presence for Aviva Premiership Rugby and the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s Series but it represents a significant uplift in revenue for its clubs."

Commenting on the agreements, Nicolas Rotkoff, President of MCS, said: "We are delighted that our own distribution, combined with that of our partners in the region, will help English rugby reach new levels of exposure in sub-Sahara Africa."

Gideon Khobane, Chief Executive of SuperSport, said: "International rugby is among the crown jewels of SuperSport’s offering. The Aviva Premiership is consistently high class and its cosmopolitan nature appeals to SuperSport’s viewers. This sits perfectly alongside our other major rugby broadcast acquisitions, which are beyond compare. We are thus thrilled to have extended our partnership."

CEO of Econet Media Joseph Hundah says: "We are very pleased that we have concluded this exciting agreement and that the action and energy of Aviva Premiership Rugby will be available on our Kwesé Sports platforms in the future. We continue to grow our sports line-up as an essential component of the different products we are developing and are focussed on ensuring a diverse range of sport is showcased."
 

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BATH, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 03:  Maro Itoje of  Saracens is tackled by Max Lahiff of Bath during the Aviva Premiership match between Bath Rugby and Saracens at the Recreation Ground on December 3, 2016 in Bath, England.  (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)