ESPN drives off with Extreme E rights across Africa

International sports broadcaster ESPN has acquired rights across the African continent to Extreme E, the electric off-road motoring series scheduled to debut in 2021.

The deal will allow ESPN to provide coverage of the series in 50 African countries, including Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Senegal, Tanzania and Uganda.

ESPN will provide live race coverage as part of the agreement, which will also include highlights programming. Extreme E struck the agreement with The Walt Disney Company, ESPN’s parent company.

Ali Russell, chief marketing officer at Extreme E, said: “We aim to make our championship accessible to as wide an audience as possible around the globe, and this deal opens the door to tens of millions of viewers across Africa – especially key as the continent will play host to one of our races in Senegal.”

Last month, Extreme E struck a rights deal with international media group Discovery, which will showcase the series in over 50 European markets on Eurosport, and in North America through subscription streaming service MotorTrend.

Extreme E has also signed rights deals with the BBC (UK), Fox Sports (US, Canada and the Caribbean, Southeast Asia and Australia), Mediaset (Italy), Sony India (Indian subcontinent), and China Sports Zhibo.tv (China).

Extreme E will comprise five races in extreme locations, including the Arctic and the Amazon Rainforest. The series’ goal is to highlight the impact climate change and human influences are having on the locations in which it will race.