GTV, Gateway Communications’ pan-African satellite-based pay TV service, has clinched exclusive broadcast rights to the entire FA Cup. Part of the English Football Association’s latest US$300m, four-year international rights deal, GTV’s package will also include all England international home games and The Community Shield.
GTV’s rights extend to 44 countries across sub-Saharan Africa. The term runs from 1 August 2008 to 31 July 2012.
GTV has already secured a three-year deal starting with the current season for 80% of the Barclays Premier League and also owns rights to the Italian Serie A. GTV also owns the rights to the Ugandan Super League and continues to seek opportunities to broadcast and invest in the development of other African Leagues.
Julian McIntyre, GTV’s founder and MD, comments: "I am thrilled that we will be adding the FA Cup to our fantastic line-up, which brings together the best European and African football with a variety of great entertainment for the whole family.
"This latest deal is part of our multi-million dollar investment in the programming that our customers demand. It is an exciting milestone in our development as Africa’s first widely accessible and affordable pay-TV service."
The FA Cup is the world’s oldest and most famous domestic cup competition. More than 700 clubs of all standards now compete for the Cup annually and about 500-million people around the world tune in each year.
England’s international home games and the FA Community Shield will be an additional treat for football fans. English football has a loyal following in Africa but the drama and excitement of live matches has only been accessible to a select few in the past due to limited choice and monopoly pricing in the pay TV market.
FA Group commercial director Jonathan Hill says: “We are delighted with this new deal and are looking forward to our partnership with GTV. It is very good news for football fans in Africa. GTV is a bold and ambitious entrant into broadcasting which sees our properties as a critical step in their development. I’m hugely excited by their innovative ideas and their commitment to promoting our product and supporting the organisation with a number of key FA initiatives in Africa.”
GTV, which began its phased roll-out across the continent in June 2007, is committed to transforming the market by building a service that is appealing and affordable to millions of consumers.