If you thought TSTV is DSTV’s biggest problem, you might have to think again. Facebook is coming to play.  

The English Premier League sold the rights to the Premier League in Africa to Super Sport for 296 million pounds for the 2016–2019 period. In 2018, these rights will be auctioned again, and Facebook might be interested in buying those rights. Not just for Africa, but for the entire world. According to Facebook, 2 billion people use Facebook monthly, and 650 million of them are sport fans.

What’s in it for Facebook?

According to an April 2017 update, there are currently 170 million Africans on Facebook. A large percentage of that number, probably more, are men. Winning these rights will not only see increased engagement of Facebook, it will see more sign ups just for the love of the game.

play Dan Reed, the Global Head of Sports at Facebook (Flickr)


Facebook’s head of sports, Dan Reed, said this in London: 

“The Premier League is a very important partner of ours and we work with them very closely.

But it would be premature to speculate how we might approach that opportunity — it’s still very early days and there is no template for this.”

While this is still mostly rumours and speculations, it’s not hard to tell that giants like Amazon and Facebook will come knocking soon. And it makes sense. 

In 2016 alone, Facebook spent over $50 million dollars paying publishers to do create more live video on the platform. There’s been chatter of a Facebook TV coming soon, with the blue giants paying as much as $10,000 per episode for original TV shows.

play Facebook Watch is currently available in the US (Facebook)


Facebook already has broadcast deals with Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer and the World Surf League. There was also an unsuccessful £450m bid to broadcast cricket’s Indian Premier League.

By July this year, Facebook had already broadcast more than 3,500 different sports events, live. From Champions League Games in the United States, to Mexican League Football. 

What does the big picture look like?

Think of all the people subscribed to DSTV mostly because of the Premiership. Now, watch subscriptions plummet. It’s quite predictable that telcos to create special tariff plans for this.  

While it might too early too tell what the outcome will look like, it’s not hard to tell it’s no longer a matter of ‘if’, but of ‘when’. But we can be sure the terrestrial guys won’t be going down without a fight.