As the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations draw takes place on Friday (today) in Cairo, the Confederation of Africa Football is reportedly under pressure as the body is yet to resolve the issue of TV rights for the football fiesta.
Surprisingly, as the excitement builds up for the tournament billed for June, millions of African fans are still not sure whether the competition would be showcased on free TV.
A couple of weeks ago, a tender was issued for an agency to manage CAF’s free-to-air rights in Africa, starting with the AFCON 2019, in a move that signalled an end to Lagardere’s hold on these rights.
But just when it seemed CAF was finally bringing transparency to its dealings in TV rights, it appears it may be business as usual, say broadcasters.
“It is a huge surprise that the TV rights issue has not been solved and with the draw coming up soon, broadcasters are not sure of who to talk to on the transmission of AFCON matches. This is unusual and it suggests that all is not well with the process this time,” a top broadcaster said.
Stakeholders had raised eyebrows over the delay by CAF in taking a decision on the TV rights for the apex football competition.
It was learnt that the public service broadcasters of Africa are under the Africa Union of Broadcasters and have preempted the exorbitant fees by offering to pay a generous amount to CAF in order to deliver the best of African football to African fans.
The AUB has taken on a number of technical partners, each of whom has achieved excellence in its field.