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StarTimes secures Formula E rights for rest of season

RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA - NOVEMBER 23: Alexander Sims of Great Britain , BMW iFE.20 and Team BMW i ANDRETTI MOTORSPORT celebrates. (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)

StarTimes, the pay-television broadcaster in sub-Saharan Africa, has signed a deal to broadcast Formula E motor racing in 37 countries across the region.

The StarTimes deal covers non-exclusive live and highlights rights across all major markets in sub-Saharan Africa. The rights will be exploited across the linear StarTimes Sports Premium channel as well as StarTimes ON, the broadcaster’s OTT platform.

StarTimes will broadcast the 11 remaining races of the 2019-20 Formula E season, which culminates on July 26 in London.

Shi Maochu, StarTimes sports director, said: “Electric cars are the future of motorsport, and I think Formula E has a great potential in Africa as it combines new technologies and intense competition.”

Kwesé’s pay-television arm had previously been a rights-holder for Formula E in sub-Saharan Africa prior to it being put into administration in July 2019.

ESPN, the Walt Disney-owned sports broadcaster, already holds Formula E rights in sub-Saharan Africa. Rights-holder Fox Sports Africa was rebranded to ESPN in August 2019 in the wake of Disney’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox. Formula E is also thought to be looking to further increase its broadcast exposure in the region.

Formula E rights in North Africa and the Middle East are held by the Dubai-based MBC Action in a contract covering the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons.