SuperSport, broadcast rights owners of the English Premier League (EPL) in Nigeria and most of the rest of Africa, and MultiChoice, parent company to DSTV and SuperSport are considering not renewing rights for the EPL, the UEFA Champions League, when they come up for renewal at the end of the 2020/21 football season.
A reliable source close to the companies attributed the development to the rising cost of international sports rights and the continually falling value of the naira against other major currencies.
“It is becoming impossible to maintain many of these sports rights, especially the EPL, for Nigeria. The recent fall of the naira against the dollar has equally not helped matters,” the source said.
The company’s annual report, published at the end of last month, showed a gaping hole in its Nigerian operations, a situation the source attributed to the cost of EPL rights, as well as those for other competitions such as the UEFA Champions League to Nigeria, which is charged separate to the rest of Africa.
“Rights for the African continent used to be bought singly, but this changed in 2007 when a competitor, backed by the federal government, forced the EPL to excise Nigeria from the rest of Africa.
Now, the cost of the rights for Nigeria has risen to almost the same with the rest of the continent put together, while the number of subscribers in Nigeria is only about one quarter of the rest of the continent,” the source said.