Sky Sports have been confirmed as the broadcast partner for this year’s AFCON, showing every game from the 34th edition of the tournament.
The announcement comes amid a protracted negotiation process that threatened the possibility of no broadcast partner being selected for the UK.
It’s been a similar struggle with other territories. Just last week, SuperSport TV – one Africa’s biggest broadcasters – announced it had not secured the rights to air games. The rights were finally secured by New World TV in recent days.
While it’s now known Sky Sports will show all 52 games – with beIN Sports doing the same in the United States – the late agreements threaten to reduce the quality of coverage, with rights holders not having enough time to get extensive, tailored coverage in place.
These difficult negotiations follow on from a Women’s World Cup this past summer which also failed to agree broadcast partners until weeks before kick-off.
International tournaments deserve more than that. Let’s hope AFCON gets the level of coverage it deserves over the next month.