One of Africa’s front line pay TV stations, SuperSport, has acquired rights for the live broadcast of one the biggest boxing match ups in history: Floyd Mayweather versus Manny Pacquiao. Scheduled to hold on May 2, the fight will be broadcast to subscribers of the premium bouquet of the pay TV platform, DSTV, without a surcharge.

With global interest in the fight resulting in frenzied anticipation, the acquisition of the rights for broadcast in Africa’s means that just like the rest of the world, Africa will have its eyes set firmly in Las Vegas on May 2 as two of the world’s greatest fighters lock horns in what has been tagged the ‘fight of the century’. Floyd Mayweather, an undefeated WBC and WBA champion, has won 11 world titles while his opponent on the night, Manny Pacquiao, a WBO welterweight champion, has won ten in eight weight divisions.

Recognizing this as great coup for SuperSport, the company’s head of marketing Motheo Matsau said the company was pleased to be able to deliver such excellent content to its customers.

“We are blessed if we have a true super-fight once every 20 years [and] this one measures up in every way,” he said. “As the home of boxing on the continent, we are thrilled to deliver such great content. Given the numbers swirling around and the lively talk in public, this event is shaping to be one of the major sporting occasions of the year,” he added.

Protracted negotiations

Given the high profile nature of the fight, negotiations to acquire the broadcast rights for the fight were not as straightforward as usual with Brandon Foot, acting chief executive of SuperSport, describing the negotiations as ‘protracted’. To secure the rights, all interested and potential broadcasters across the world were required to submit bids to two companies: Mayweather Promotions and Bob Arum’s Top Rank.

Ultimately, SuperSport’s proposal for the acquisition of the rights proved to be successful as the company will transmit the bout in 44 countries across Sub-Saharan Africa with subscribers having the option of live streaming. As part of the deal, SuperSport will also create content to broadcast before the game including interviews with both Mayweather and Pacquiao.

The fight between Manny Pacquiao and Mayweather could gross as much as $400 million with Floyd Mayweather bagging 60 percent while Pacquaio receiveing 40 percent. The venue of the fight is MGM Grand Garden Arena with Tecate the official beer sponsor, with a successful bid of $5.6 million to secure sponsorship rights.

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