Kwesé to follow remainder of 2018-19 EHF Champions League
Kwesé Free Sports, the sub-Saharan African free-to-air broadcaster owned by Econet Media, has acquired rights to the remainder of this season's Velux EHF Champions League, European handball's top clubs competition.
The agreement, announced today, was brokered by EHF Marketing, the European Handball Federation’s marketing arm, and means the Champions League is available in more than 30 African countries.
Coverage on the KFS TV channel and Kwesé iflix, its mobile video-on-demand sports and entertainment platform, will begin with the quarter-finals and run through to the EHF Final4 in Cologne on 1 and 2 June.
All matches will be offered with English commentary.
David Szlezak, marketing director of EHF Marketing, said: “The partnership with Kwesé is not only about reaching new territories for the Velux EHF Champions League, but also about doing it with a company which is working in a very dynamic and innovative way on the African continent. We are sure that Kwesé TV and the sport fans in Africa will enjoy watching these last matches of the season, especially the upcoming Velux EHF Final4 2019.”
This year's competition is being carried by 39 broadcasters in more than 100 territories, with worldwide coverage via the EHF's OTT platform ehfTV.com.
EHF Marketing has been selling international media rights to its club competitions in-house, after terminating its agreement with the now-defunct MP & Silva agency, and will continue to do so in the 2019-20 season.
MP & Silva signed a seven-year contract in 2013 to distribute international broadcast rights to the men’s and women’s EHF Champions League, EHF Cup and Challenge Cup competitions.
The EHF’s near €600-million ($671.5-million) agreement over 10 years with the Infront agency and DAZN, the international OTT subscription broadcaster, comes into effect in 2020.
Econet shut down the pay-TV channels of Kwesé TV towards the end of 2018, in order to focus on KFS following a near-18 month struggle to meet contracted rights payments.
Kwesé missed or was late on a number of rights payments since the middle of 2017 to the likes of Fifa, the Premier League, the NBA, Formula 1, World Rally Championship and BeIN Sports, from which it acquired French Ligue 1 rights, as well as ESPN, which teamed up with Kwesé in early 2017 to launch an African version of the ESPN website and a supporting mobile app.