Fox Sports, which claims to be the most widely distributed sports brand in the world, is buying Setanta Africa Services, a sports channel range broadcast in sub-Saharan Africa in more than 1 million homes, according to a report in WorldScreen.
Setanta Africa business, headquartered in Ireland, broadcasts three sports channels: Setanta Africa, (in English and French); Zuku Sports in high definition in East Africa; and the recently launched Setanta Action. The channels cover football leagues from around the world, rugby, mixed martial arts and others.
“Being opportunistic and disciplined in our expansion efforts over the past two years, we have taken Fox Sports internationally from 17 million to over 71 million homes,” said Frank Carrere, senior vice president of business development at Fox International Channels. “By that measure, and when you include our company’s U.S. sports portfolio, Fox has become the most widely distributed sports brand in the world today.”
The acquisition is part of Fox’s overall desire to invest and grow its presence in the rapidly expanding sub-Saharan Africa region, said Alessandro Tucci, senior vice president and general manager of Fox International Channels Africa. “The incorporation of Setanta Africa into our…Africa operation, which already includes leading entertainment, factual, lifestyle and children’s channels further reinforces our… commitment to deliver high quality content across all of our channels.”
Fox’s experience and passion as a sports operator bodes for an exciting future, said Michael O’Rourke, Setanta Africa’s chairman.
Fox International Channels, a subsidiary of the Fox Entertainment Group, is in the final stages of the purchase subject to approval by the Irish Competition Authority, the report said.