CAF relief as Sky agrees last minute broadcast deal for AFCON

January 9 – With just five days to go before the kick off the African Cup of Nations in the Ivory Coast, the UK’s Sky Sports have signed a broadcast agreement.

Sky will show all 52 AFCON games live in the UK and the Republic of Ireland. Matches will also be streamed through Now.

Hosts Ivory Coast open the tournament on Saturday when they take on Guinea-Bissau in Abidjan. The tournament will end at the same Alassane Ouattara Stadium on Sunday February 11.

The deal was made by IMG who picked up the non-African broadcast distribution rights to CAF competitions last month. No value has been given for the rights but given the lateness of the deal it is unlikely that a significant fee is being paid.

At this stage before the tournament it is more important for CAF to show they have international broadcast coverage as they try to build global and commercial interest in their competitions that have taken a hit in recent years.

Liverpool and Egypt forward Mo Salah, Manchester United and Cameroon goalkeeper Andre Onana and Chelsea and Senegal striker Nicolas Jackson are the biggest name Premier League stars taking part in the Ivory Coast.

In previous AFCON tournaments the exodus of Premier League players to Africa in January to play for their countries has caused club managers to complain over losing key players at a crucial time in their league seasons. This time round the noise has been limited both from Premier League managers and their counterparts in clubs across Europe.

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