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Kwesé TV Brings ESPN Back to Africa, Launches Exclusive New Sports Channel

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Econet Media’s Kwesé Sports and ESPN on Wednesday launched the exclusive ESPN channel on the Kwesé TV bouquet.

The collaboration with Africa’s emerging home of premium sports marks the much anticipated return of ESPN to the African continent.

The channel comes after the announcement of the game-changing long-term agreement between the two sports broadcasting powerhouses which confirmed Kwesé Sports as the home of ESPN in Africa.

The channel will deliver the most comprehensive sports coverage on the continent bringing the best in sports to African fans through live coverage of events from across the globe. Along with live sports, the channel introduces unique original programming including an African edition of the popular SportsCenter programme, an iconic and hugely popular show with fans across the world.

Hosted by ESPN’s Philip Murphy, SportsCenter will cover the latest in sports news, highlights and updates in its signature fast-paced format, which has made it one of the most loved and awarded shows in television.

Since it launched in 2016, Kwesé Sports has continued to shake up the sports broadcasting industry with its unique offering that already boasts an impressive line-up which includes some of the best in American sports, including the NFL, NHL and the NBA. Through this collaboration with the global leader in sports media, Kwesé will exclusively bring thousands of hours of programming to audiences in 19 countries across sub-Saharan Africa.

The channel aims to be the first choice for fans wanting the latest news and updates and promises a diverse programming schedule designed to appeal to even the most discerning sports fan. The exciting launch programming for March includes; March Madness which tips off on the 15th, X Games action live from Norway, Indy Car 2017 and AFL.

In addition to launching the ESPN channel, Kwesé and ESPN will launch an African edition of the ESPN website and mobile app later this year. Leveraging ESPN’s position as the world’s leading digital sports brand and Kwesé’s pan-African reach and TV everywhere multiplatform distribution, these digital destinations will keep sports fans up-to-date with access to news, scores, features, video, live games and matches wherever they are — putting the best in international sports in their pocket! KweseESPN.com and the new KweseESPN app, coupled with the Kwesé TV Everywhere App, will give its viewers 24/7 access to all the latest in sports from across the globe in a way that has never existed for African sports fans.

Commenting on the launch, Joseph Hundah, president and CEO of Econet Media said “This is a real game changer. In ESPN we have a collaborator that enhances our offering to our viewers. We have always aimed to deliver premium sports programming and we continue to bring the best to our sports fans, through our acquisitions of top-shelf sports rights and our investment in our platforms and in how we deliver our programming whether through Pay-Tv, Free-to-air or digital mobile platforms. The launch of this channel is significant as it cements our place as a leading provider of sports programming in Africa”.

Russell Wolff, executive vice president and managing director, ESPN International, said, “We are thrilled to be working with a fellow innovator like Econet to bring ESPN and SportsCenter back to television screens in Africa and expanding the Kwesé and ESPN digital connection with fans. This launch is just the beginning of how these two great companies will serve fans Africa.”

African viewers can look forward to thousands of hours of ESPN content which will be licensed to Kwesé. Including both live sports and award-winning original programming, the content will appear across the ESPN and Kwesé Sport channels.

Post launch programming schedule for March includes exclusive broadcast of:

March Madness
With the regular season out of the way 68 teams will bid to be crowned NCAA Basketball Champions. Starting 15 March, the month of March will see teams whittled down through the Sweet Sixteen, Elite Eight and Final 4 until a Championship which will be broadcast on April 4!

X Games – Norway
The event takes place in Lillehammer, Norway and features some of the greatest freestyle skiers and snowboarders of our time.

The world class action sports action and commentary showcases the skills of many of the world’s top winter sports athletes in front of huge crowds, creating a fantastic viewing experience.

Indy Car 2017
The Grand Prix of St Petersburg is the first of 17 stops on this year’s Indy Car Calendar. Frenchman Simon Pagenaud will be out to defend his driver’s championship, as they tackle the street circuit on March 12.

AFL
Thanks to ESPN, Aussie Rules football is back with a bang as the season opens on March 23rd with matches taking place in iconic venues like the MCG in Melbourne. Eighteen teams go in pursuit of a place in the Grand Final and the chance to take home the title on September 30.

Original Programming
In addition to the original Sports Center programme, the channel will include ESPN Films Award-Winning 30 For 30 documentaries, and a range of additional studio programming such as ESPN FC, Pardon The Interruption, Around The Horn, College Game day and more. Kwesé also already licenses NFL-related programming – including NFL Live, NFL Countdown and more – from ESPN, as part of a TV rights deal with the NFL, brokered by ESPN Media Distribution

Kwesé also features coverage of the Premier League, Formula One, Cricket Australia, Aviva Premiership Rugby, The Spanish Copa Del Rey, Brazilian football, Extreme Fighting Championship and so much more.


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OurTv Secures LaLiga Broadcasting Rights for Nigeria

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OurTV, a DTH free TV broadcast satellite service provider, has secured broadcast rights for Laliga matches in Nigeria.

OurTv Secures LaLiga Broadcasting Rights for Nigeria

OurTV will broadcast Laliga Santander matches live on its Sports Channel 120.

Commenting on the development, Olushola Peters, Head of Marketing of OurTV, said: “This is one major milestone for OurTv and we want to thank our esteemed users, who have always believed and supported us. We value your input and suggestions as it is a core culture in OurTv to listen and please our viewers as much as we can.”

OurTv is a Direct-To-Home (DTH) TV broadcast satellite service with onetime payment of set-up boxes that offers over 18 unique and exciting channels with the use of homegrown services.


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NCC, AVCNU Set Agenda for Model IP Policy for Nigerian Universities

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The first draft of an Intellectual Property (IP) Policy for Nigerian universities will soon be finalised by Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC), working with the Association of Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities (AVCNU) and the National Universities Commission (NUC).

Mr. John O. Asein, Director-General of NCC, and Secretary-General of the AVCNU, Professor Yakubu Aboki Ochefu, gave this indication at a consultative meeting during a visit of the executives of AVCNU to the Commission’s Headquarters in Abuja recently.

The Director-General said the Commission would fast-track work on the draft IP Policy with a view to entrenching a credible copyright culture in the nation’s tertiary institutions.

“The adoption and implementation of an IP Policy in universities will guide lecturers, students and librarians on their copyright obligations and address the allocation of rights in our institutions of higher learning,” he stated.

Mr. Asein also noted that implementation of an IP Policy would boost the Commission’s national anti-piracy campaign and enhance research and the use of IP knowledge in Nigerian universities. This, he asserted, has become even more imperative in light of the attitudinal changes brought about in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He decried the lack of copyright policy guidelines for library users in most Nigerian universities resulting in unregulated photocopying by students to the financial detriment of authors. He, therefore, urged AVCNU to assist in the implementation of the understanding earlier reached between the Reproduction Rights Society of Nigeria (REPRONIG) and the AVCNU on behalf of the Universities.

The Director-General remarked that it was an irony that universities were not eager to obtain licences despite the fact that most of the authors would be among the primary beneficiaries. He also advised REPRONIG to explore ways of ensuring that those universities that signed up for its licence obtained value for money.

In his remarks, the Secretary-General of AVCNU, Professor Yakubu Aboki Ochefu, thanked the NCC DG for assisting with the development of a model IP Policy for Nigerian Universities. He disclosed that the plagiarism detection software, Eaglescan, introduced recently for use in Nigerian Universities has helped to check the incidence of plagiarism and copyright abuses in the universities.

The Secretary-General observed that copyright has become a critical issue in Nigerian universities in view of the increasing relevance of the virtual learning environment occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic. He expressed concern that many universities in Nigeria have no copyright policy and assured that the AVCNU would support the Commission in the development and adoption of the proposed IP Policy for universities to enrich the academic and research culture.

Professor Ochefu further indicated interest in the operations of the Nigerian Copyright Academy (NCA) and assured the Commission that AVCNU would work with the Academy to promote copyright education and enlightenment in the country, especially in the university system.

The visit of the AVCNU officials to the Commission is a follow up to an earlier visit of the NCC management team to the Association’s secretariat in February this year during which the Director-General of NCC advocated the urgent need for a model IP Policy for Nigerian Universities.


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Extreme E Partners StarTimes to Broadcast Series across Africa

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Electric off-road motor racing series Extreme E has signed a three-year agreement with digital TV operator StarTimes to broadcast the series live across the African continent.

Extreme E Partners StarTimes to Broadcast Series across Africa

The deal will see Extreme E’s five-race series aired live to more than 30 African countries including Kenya, Nigeria, Cameroon and Cote d’Ivoire in English, French, Portuguese and other local languages. Season one gets underway in early 2021.

The agreement with StarTimes is the latest broadcast deal to be announced by Extreme E, with the championship also set to partner with BBC (UK), Discovery (Europe and North America), FOX Sports (United States, Canada and the Caribbean), FOX Sports Asia (Southeast Asia), FOX Sports Australia, Mediaset (Italy), Sony India (Indian subcontinent), TVNZ (New Zealand), RTM (Malaysia), Dubai Sports (Middle East), RDS (Canada), China Sports Zhibo.tv (China), RTL 7 (The Netherlands), ORF (Austria), ESPN Africa and BTRC (Belarus).

Commenting on the deal, Ali Russell, chief marketing officer at Extreme E, said: “Extreme E is a top-tier sporting product unlike anything else out there at the moment. Likened to Star Wars Pod Racing meets Dakar Rally, its mission is to drive awareness of climate change worldwide, whilst promoting battery electric vehicles and workable, sustainable solutions. This broadcast partnership with StarTimes is really important for helping to share our messages across Africa, which is an integral location to the series as Senegal’s Lac Rose plays host to our Ocean stage.”

Kristen Miao, StarTimes sports director, added: “Motorsports are getting more and more popular in Africa and at the same time people are increasingly concerned about climate change issues. With Extreme E, they will see that sustainability can also mean excitement and adrenaline. We are delighted to bring this unique championship into millions of homes across Africa.”

 


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