Time for AU and African Governments to Hold SuperSport Accountable for AFCON Snub – Ibrahim Daara

SuperSport, a major African continental broadcaster, declared its decision not to broadcast the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2023

In a shocking announcement, SuperSport, a major African continental broadcaster, declared its decision not to broadcast the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), sending ripples of concern among its customers. This move raises critical questions about the broadcaster’s commitment to the continent, its customers, and the alarming preference for European content over African football.

If SuperSport were a European company operating within Europe, regulators would likely have swiftly taken action. However, the apparent indifference towards African customers suggests a concerning trend of taking the continent for granted. The broadcaster must recognize its duty to the continent that forms the backbone of its revenue stream.

SuperSport’s actions have a threefold impact. Firstly, it perpetuates a cycle of capital flight from Africa, with over $200 million annually redirected to European rights, including those for dubious matches like Latvia vs. Estonia. This economic drain exacerbates the existing wealth disparities between Africa and Europe.

Secondly, the broadcaster’s decision jeopardizes the jobs of its African staff, who, without African content, face a bleak professional landscape. This stark reality raises questions about the broadcaster’s social responsibility and commitment to nurturing talent within the continent.

Thirdly, SuperSport’s apparent preference for European content over AFCON, a showcase of some of the world’s best talents, reflects a disheartening colonial mentality. The tournament features stars like Mohamed Salah, Mohammed Kudus, Guirassy, Osimhen, and over 50 players from Ligue 1 in France, constituting a potent display of global football prowess.

The African Union (AU) and domestic regulators must step in decisively. The AU must wield its influence to ensure SuperSport honors its commitment to African audiences. Domestic regulators should consider imposing higher taxes with conditions, compelling the broadcaster to reinvest in Africa and support the continent’s footballing landscape.

SuperSport’s dismissal of AFCON is more than a mere broadcasting decision; it symbolizes a potential new form of colonialism where African interests are subjugated to the enrichment of already affluent foreign entities. The time has come for decisive action to ensure that the heartbeat of African football resonates not only within the stadiums but also on the screens of its people.

Source: The article was written by Ibrahim Sannie Daara.