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StarTimes picks up FA Cup rights in sub-Saharan Africa

Pay-television operator StarTimes has acquired rights across sub-Saharan Africa to the FA Cup, England’s leading knockout club football tournament.

The deal, which runs until 2021 and incorporates the annual Community Shield fixture, covers all media platforms.

StarTimes will broadcast matches on its eight sports channels, as well as on its StarTimes ON streaming app.

Pay-TV broadcaster SuperSport is the incumbent rights-holder in sub-Saharan Africa. The broadcaster announced a deal 12 months ago to show the remainder of the 2018-19 tournament. Previously, SuperSport held the rights to both the FA Cup and England national team friendlies in a six-season deal struck directly with the Football Association, from 2012-13 to 2017-18.

International rights to the tournament are distributed by IMG. The agency holds the rights in sub-Saharan Africa from 2018-19 to 2023-24 under a wider international deal signed with the Football Association in October 2016.

The agreement comes ahead of the third-round weekend of the 2019-20 FA Cup. StarTimes’ coverage will commence on Saturday, with its pick of live action set to be the meeting between Premier League clubs Wolverhampton Wanderers and Manchester United, a repeat of last season’s quarter-final fixture.

Shi Maochu, sport director at StarTimes, said: “This is a significant step for StarTimes.The Emirates FA Cup and the FA Community Shield are among the most competitive national football events and we are really happy to offer them to our subscribers during Christmas season.

“We have been building a very solid offer in terms of football for 2020 with national competitions such as Coppa Italia and Bundesliga, as well as European events like Uefa Europa League and Euro 2020. And we will keep looking to acquire new events and bring the best value to our subscribers.”