Kwese TV was not joking when it declared its bid to shake up the African sport television market at inception. The broadcaster has made its intentions known through the acquisition of several top rights like the FIFA World Cup, the free-to-air rights for the English Premier League (that ensures one game is shown every weekend), the rights to the next four Olympic Games, the Ligue 1 broadcast rights from the 2018/19 season, the exclusive broadcast rights of the NBA in Africa, among many others.
The latest catch for Kwese is the exclusive broadcast rights to the Lagos City Marathon, West Africa’s largest one-day sports event that is expected to welcome almost 50,000 runners this February.
I first noticed this via Instagram posts of Nilayo Sports Management, the project managers of the Lagos City Marathon. The posts indicated that the race will be shown on Kwese Free Sports on terrestrial TV. The same series of posts also appeared on the Kwese Free Sports Instagram page.
It begged the question, is the role of SuperSport in the race ended? SuperSport were in charge of the two previous races but will no longer be involved as confirmed to me by the Managing Director of Nilayo Sports, Mr Bukola Olopade.
While I am yet to find out the finer details of the agreement, I am surprised that they decided to keep the deal quiet and not make a big noise of it in the press. At least for Kwese, this is a huge scoop as they have picked up a key product in the burgeoning athletics market in Nigeria.
Kwese have also picked up the broadcast rights to the 2018 African Senior Athletics Championship, Asaba, that is being managed by Nilayo Sports.*
At the CampsBay Sport Business Forum last week, Chichi Nwoko, General Manager of Kwese Free Sports, talked about the need to change the way broadcasters work with content producers. She said it was not proper for content producers to pay for the airing of content and that it should be the job of TV stations to pay for good content. This is most likely one of the content she referred to.
So how much is the deal worth? For how long? What are the deliverables?
I will bring the full details to you once I get more information.
*This paragraph was updated at 17:13pm on February 5, 2018.