MultiChoice
Senegal's striker Sadio Mane, Egypt's forward Mohamed Salah and Egypt's goalkeeper Mohamed Abogabal speak before Mane took a penalty kick during the Africa Cup of Nations final match between Senegal and Egypt at Stade d'Olembe in Yaounde.

They had lost twice in the finals before. And when the moment of reckoning came, their star striker Sadio Mane lost a penalty in normal time.

For Senegal supporters glued to screens in sports bars in Nairobi and around Kenya, they watched in awe as their team blew away chance after chance against Egypt during the Africa Cup of Nations finals just a fortnight ago.

In the end, it all boiled down to pure drama, and yes, the great moment of redemption for Sadio Mane, who took the winning penalty, sending his country and fans into wild celebrations as Egypt was left counting their lost chances.

Many football fans in Nairobi must have been following this riveting final in their local sports bar, with SuperSport streaming the live match proceedings from Olembe Stadium in Yaounde, Cameroon.

It is no doubt that many soccer fans in Kenya, regularly troop into their local joints tagging along with friends not only for the banter and drink-ups but for the quality of the SuperSport football content – videos and commentary – streaming via the screens.

This is music to the ears of hospitality investors, who sustained one of the hardest hits in Kenya’s industry following the closure of hotels, bars, and restaurants when Covid-19 struck over two years ago.

In addition to bringing the evergreen European Champions League contest, MultiChoice has secured broadcasting rights to the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar, offering football fans in Kenya a historic chance to follow the live-action, a move that in many ways guarantees the social joints uptick in customer footfall during the November 21 to December 18, 2022, tournament.

Read also: Africa’s film industry can give rise to 20 million jobs

Week in week out, bars, hotels, and restaurants in Kenya streaming leading sports codes and competitions such as the English Premier League, the FA Cup, Wimbledon, MotoGP, or the Rugby World Cup can look up to tidy earnings.

“Small businesses are the lifeblood of African economies and MultiChoice is committed to supporting the growth and development of entrepreneurs,” Multichoice’s enriching lives, connecting people, Social Impact report 2021 notes.

The provision of modern entertainment infrastructure in bars and restaurants is just the tip of the iceberg on MultiChoice social impact footprint across Africa.

Through the provision of entertainment content, the firm creates small businesses and thousands of jobs in the decoder and hardware installation trade.

In Kenya, the value injected by MultiChoice throughout the value chain of distributors, installers, and ancillary suppliers including distribution of devices and transmission masts as well as ancillary supplies amounts to over $203.6 million. Over 200 agents are engaged by the company to sell decoders alone.

What’s more, the entertainment giant has been scaling up investments in the generation of local content by training and offering opportunities to creatives to tell African stories.

Some of the popular Kenyan content consumed across Africa is the latest seasons of Kina, Njoro Wa Uba, and Selina, and famous drama sets in the country’s ever-dynamic music industry produced by Enos Olik as well as popular local reality shows This Love and Sol Family.

Over $1.2 million is spent on sponsorship of football tournaments and 200,000 lives have been impacted through the jobs created and households touched via Maisha Magic’s investments in local content.

Because sports attract so many people, entertainment firms such as MultiChoice have been harnessing the platform to help small businesses meaningfully accelerate growth thereby creating jobs.

According to Unesco 2021 survey, the pay television segment of the market in the continent is dominated by South Africa’s MultiChoice (20.1 million subscribers), China’s StarTimes (7.8 million subscribers), and France’s Canal+ (6 million subscribers), and it continues to grow.

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