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Mediapro furthers CPL reach with StarTimes deal

Pay-television broadcaster StarTimes has acquired rights in sub-Saharan Africa to the Canadian Premier League top-tier football competition.

The deal will cover the remainder of the curtailed 2020 CPL season, which is taking place in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island under the ‘Island Games’ banner.

StarTimes will air seven first-round CPL matches, the six play-off fixtures and the grand final on its ST Sports Life channel, which is available on satellite and terrestrial platforms. Coverage will also be shown on the StarTimes ON streaming service.

The agreement was struck by Mediapro Canada, an arm of the international production and media-rights agency, which last year signed a long-term deal for the worldwide media rights to the CPL.

The CPL features a number of players of African origin, including Forge FC’s Senegalese star Elimane Cissé, Valour FC’s Congolese international Bouka Moutu, and FC Edmonton’s Cameroonian player of the year Jeannot Esua.

Last week, Mediapro Canada negotiated deals with Fox Sports in the US and 1Sports in the Indian subcontinent for the shortened 2020 edition of the CPL. Fox Sports will show every match from the rest of the season, while 1Sports will broadcast fixtures on a delayed basis given the nine-hour time difference to India. Coverage on 1Sports will also be available in Nepal and the Maldives, and through Lex Sportel Vision on Dialog TV in Sri Lanka.

StarTimes also holds rights to the Uefa European Championships and Nations League competitions, England’s FA Cup and Community Shield, and Italy’s Coppa Italia. Earlier this month it finalised an agreement with LaLiga for French-language rights in sub-Saharan Africa to the top two tiers of Spanish football covering the 2020-21 to 2023-24 seasons.

Mediapro Canada recently negotiated a broadcast deal with Canadian broadcaster CBC Sports for exclusive linear television rights in Canada to the 2020 CPL. All eight games will be simultaneously streamed via the free CBC Gem streaming service, cbcsports.ca and the CBC Sports App, and will be produced by Mediapro.