Football fans across the country will be able to watch the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals live on local television later this month.
The games run from January 21 to February 12 in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea with Southern Africa being represented by regulars Angola and Zambia and debutants the Zebras of Botswana.
While the national broadcaster, Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings is still holding discussions with Afcon rights holder Afnex, spokesman Sivukile Simango said whatever the outcome of the negotiations, they would screen the games.
“Discussions with Afcon rights holder Afnex are still in progress. On the other hand, ZBC is negotiating with potential sponsors and I am happy to say these negotiations are at an advanced stage.
“They (sponsors) will underwrite costs of airtime. An official announcement will be made in due course.
“But whatever the results from these negotiations, ZBC will definitely be broadcasting Afcon 2012,” Simango confirmed. He added the schedule would be worked out in due course. SportFive, who hadthe rights before they parcelled them out to Afnex, are demanding €600 000.
African countries are fuming at the cost.
African television broadcasters are united in demanding a downward review of the figure, arguing — and rightly so — they paid $150 000 to screen the 2010 World Cup staged in South Africa.
So intense has been the pressure on SportFive — a company domiciled in Paris, France, that they have reduced their initial demands from €1 million to the current figure.
However, for those with access to satellite television, there will be no such headaches as cash-rich SuperSport will broadcast both the Afcon and Euro 2012.
The World of Champions will broadcast all 32 Afcon matches live and in high-definition (HD), while Euro 2012 will be broadcast exclusively live, also in HD. The Afcon deal, especially, marks a windfall for SuperSport as it incorporates a number of continental football properties.
The Afcon arrangement will be for the next three editions 2012, 2013 and 2015.
In addition, the rights include the African Nations Championship (2014), African Youth Championship (2013 and 2015), Caf Super Cup (2012-2016), Caf Champions League (remaining matches, plus 2012-2016), Caf Confederations Cup (remaining matches, plus 2012-2016) and the Caf Under-23 Championships.