The African Football League has generated plenty of anticipation, and with the competition ready to begin, the expectations are at fever pitch.
Football fans across Africa are eager for the competition to get started, with eight of Africa’s best jostling for the $4 million prize money.
While fans await the mouth-watering fixtures, the question on everyone’s lips is who will emerge victorious on November 11, when the curtain draws on the competition.
While we await the answers patiently, there is the small matter of the opening ceremony of the African Football League.
Where can one watch the opening ceremony that precedes the Simba vs Al Ahly tie in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania?
In this piece, we will help you solve that.
Where to watch the African Football League opening ceremony
Fans who want to watch the African Football League can count themselves lucky. Unlike other competitions where the broadcast of their matches is such a big deal, the latest CAF tournament is accessible to everyone.
Broadcast of sports in Africa has always been a thorny issue, but not for the African Football League. There were fears that the competition would not be on television, but those fears have been dispersed.
Abu Dhabi Sports beat all comers to the broadcast right for the African Football League, including SuperSports. They have decided to air the matches free on terrestrial TV.
The inaugural competition that kicks off on Friday with Simba taking on Al Ahly will be beamed live by the United Arab Emirates media organisation.
The competition, which runs until November 11, will be broadcast on TV channels by members of the African Union of Broadcasting (AUB) and features a dazzling array of prominent clubs from various African nations.
Some of the stations that should air the matches live include Ivory Coast (RTI), Ghana (GBC), Kenya (KBC), Nigeria (NTA), Tanzania (TBC) and South Africa (SABC).
Some other stations that have announced their intention to broadcast the African Football League are Joy Prime (Ghana).
Joy Prime is also on channel 180, DSTV Ghana. Azam TV will also air the opening ceremony of the African Football League.
Azam TV will only broadcast selected matches of the competition.
Abu Dhabi Sports TV will broadcast the African Football League, after winning the rights ahead of SuperSport TV.
The tournament kicks off on 20 October and runs until 11 November
8 teams will be playing for the R76-million first prize. pic.twitter.com/50dJvSJ2Ky
— South African football unfiltered (@SouthUnfiltered) September 22, 2023
CAF and its problematic broadcast deals
CAF recently cancelled a $415 million deal with the Qatari-based beIN Sports, the second TV contract in four years.
CAF signed the deal in 2017 and was to last 12 years until 2028.
The relationship between CAF and beIN Sports began in 2009.
BeIN became CAF’s anchor partner after CAF disagreed with Lagardère Sports and Entertainment in 2019 and the termination of that contract. Caf has now terminated the beIN deal.
CAF’s deal with beIN is exclusionary: one major broadcaster has rights to all the big tournaments.
Most global confederations allow competition among broadcasters, with each assigned a slice of a tournament.
CAF’s approach of handing out one monopoly agreement was the crux of the Egyptian Competition Authority’s 2019 legal challenge to CAF’s media rights contract with Lagardère.
As a result, CAF cancelled the $1 billion deal with the French company, citing anti-competitiveness as one of the reasons.
CAF claims contractual breach, including an alleged $80 million unpaid debt from beIN.
This article was most recently revised and updated 1 month ago