One of the biggest sports news announcements to take place in Africa this year, was the recent announcement by Fox Sports who signed a new multi-year partnership with the West African Football Union (WAFU) Zones A and B.
For the first time, every Zone West A Cup and Zone West B Cup match will be broadcast for football fans across Africa, with the first tournaments scheduled to take place in the Summer of 2017 and will be broadcast exclusively by FOX Sports.
Frank Rutten, EVP, FOX Sports, Europe and Africa says the deal will ensure long term investment is injected into the development, training and support of West African Football over the next 12 years
This partnership will expand the reach of WAFU across 24 countries, with the potential for matches and tournaments to be broadcast across the global FOX Sports network.
Alongside the revitalised bi-annual tournaments, FOX Sports along with West Zone A and West Zone B will create, produce and broadcast a range of regional quarterly events, focused on the expansion of the entire football ecosystem in West Africa.
Events for the U17, U20, U23 and core women’s teams are being planned, along with seminars and workshops on a range of subjects to increase skill development on and off the pitch. These include bespoke training for club doctors and personal finance management training for players with more sessions to be announced in the coming months.
WAFU Zones A and B include the majority of top football teams across Africa and the agreement was officially ratified on Friday 9 December at a meeting of the 16 West African football nations in Dakar, Senegal.
Rutten said, “We have a proven track record of creating and delivering premium sports programming for local audiences, that have the potential to travel to a global audience. Football is the most popular sport in Africa, and through our new 12-year partnership, not only are we investing in all areas of the industry, we are ensuring the broadcast of more games from the Zone West Cup tournaments to the millions of fans in Africa, all in our signature FOX Sports quality.”
Adam Theiler, EVP, Fox Networks Group, Europe and Africa added, “West African footballers have not only helped to build one of the strongest football regions across the continent, they have also dazzled audiences on the world stage by competing in top tier leagues around the world. West Africa is a fountain of talent and football pride, and as an anchor of our Fox Networks Group portfolio, it is FOX Sports absolute intention to bring the talent of these men and women to football fans in Africa, and the world.”
Augustin Senghor, President WAFU Zone A said, “Today is a great day for both WAFU Zone A and B nations and our fans. The support of FOX Sports, as a global leader in sports broadcasting, will help us further develop and promote of our football. WAFU A and its Member Associations/Federations are delighted with this landmark partnership and look forward to creating the best events for the supporters.”
Kwesi Nyantakyi, President WAFU Zone B said, “The global FOX Sports network with their broadcast expertise is the perfect partner to support our ambitions in taking West African football to the next level. We are looking forward to working with the FOX Sports team to bring the excitement of our West Zone B football into homes across Africa.”
This partnership with the West Africa Football Union joins the growing roster of sports rights including the Eredivisie, Ligue 1, La Liga, Bundesliga, the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and NASCAR. With over 300 million viewers worldwide, across 97 countries, FOX Sports is the world’s leading sports television brand.