MUMBAI: ESPN has acquired the US media rights for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, the premier championship for national soccer teams in the continent of Africa.
ESPN3, the company‘s live multi-screen sports network available in 83 million homes, will be the primary home for live presentation of the three-week tournament in South Africa that began 19 January through 10 February.
ESPN Deportes, the 24-hour Spanish-language sports network, will televise the semifinals and final matches on delay. This is the first time Africa‘s most prominent soccer championship will be available in the United States via a media platform reaching a mass audience.
The agreement includes access to match highlights across ESPN media platforms such as ESPN FC, the company‘s sole destination for soccer content; studio news, highlights and analysis programs such as SportsCenter, ESPN FC Press Pass on ESPNEWS, as well as SportsCenter and Los Capitanes on ESPN Deportes.
This year‘s Africa Cup of Nations is the 29th edition of the tournament. Teams representing 16 nations compete in the tournament, following a qualification process among the 54 member nations of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), the governing body for the sport of soccer in Africa.
The winner of the tournament will represent Africa in the 2013 Fifa Confederations Cup in Brazil, 15-30 June, competing in Group B along with Spain (Europe), Uruguay (South America) and Tahiti (Oceana).
Regarded as one of the most festive and colorful soccer tournaments among Fifa‘s six football confederations, the African Cup of Nations (Afcon) features some of the best soccer professionals in the top European leagues. The competition is held every two years.