AFCON: Stakeholders want fair play over TV rights


Stakeholders have expressed concerns over the delay by the Confederation of African Football in taking a decision on the TV rights for the forthcoming 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.

Two weeks ago, a tender was issued for an agency to manage CAF’s free-to-air rights in Africa, starting with AFCON 2019, in a move that signalled an end to Lagardere’s hold on these rights.

Even though Lagardere, a global sports marketing and entertainment agency offering a full spectrum of consulting services, and its associate LC2 have seemingly taken a back seat in the televising of the forthcoming AFCON, speculations have been rife over the process.

In a joint statement that followed the African Union Ordinary Assembly last month in Ethiopia, it was stated that FIFA, CAF and the AU would be collaborating on “the promotion of good governance and anti-corruption in sport” but a broadcaster in the West African region said there was need for CAF to give all parties a fair chance to win the rights.

“The bidding process is not as transparent as expected and we are all worried about this because once a decision is taken, it is the end and it may affect many of us in the industry. CAF must stand firm on anti-corruption,” the broadcaster said.

Another stakeholder based in Abuja said, “How we all waited for the promised transformation that ushered in the new CAF Executive, but if reports are true that CAF are considering the appointment of Infront Media and Sport (an international sports marketing firm) as its agent to oversee the sale of FTA rights to Africa’s most prestigious sports events, then this is  lamentable.”

“Justifications as to why a rightsholder may be more willing to appoint a non-African agent  to distribute some content in Africa, but this cannot be the case with AFCON – Africa’s showpiece football tournament.  AFCON has been shown for years across the continent on national networks, by broadcasters who have had to stump up colossal amounts of cash often at short notice as licence fees.”





Jibril .O