London — The English Premier League is a key element of premium sports content and in launching Sports Radio, Vodacom is betting that it will attract a significant number of users. Increasingly mobile operators have to think of themselves as media platforms and as the email interview with the company below shows it builds on their existing football content portfolio.
Q: The service is currently in South Africa. So you have the audio rights for Sub- Saharan Africa? Did you buy these directly or from Multichoice?
A: Vodacom have partnered with a local rights aggregator to bring the official English Premier League (EPL) live audio commentaries to South Africa on Sports Radio. The aggregator has licensed the rights directly from UK based Talksport who are the exclusive global audio rights partner of the EPL. These rights are independent and not held by Multichoice. Talksport provide Sports Radio with official live and on-demand audio coverage of all of the Premier League's 380 matches. Talksport have provided live Premier League commentary since 2007 and are renowned for the quality of their audio production, commentary, analysis and presentation.
Q: Are there plans to roll-out Vodacom Sports Radio across your other Sub-Saharan Africa territories?
A: At this stage our focus is primarily on South Africa.
Q: What's the content on Vodacom Sports Radio? Is there exclusive content on the channel?
A: The key objective for Sports Radio initially is to provide the live audio commentaries and related sports content of the EPL on a digital platform in a convenient and affordable way for our subscribers. All digital audio commentaries for the English Premier League and FA Cup can be found exclusively on Sports Radio in South Africa for all Vodacom users. In addition to the commentaries, we have also included a range of current and continually refreshed podcasts from Talksport, as well as a selection from their podcast library, that can be listened to in between match days. Whilst majority of these podcasts relate to the Premier League itself, such as previews, reviews, and analyses, the podcasts also include discussions and interviews across other sports such as cricket, boxing and rugby.
Q: It's early days but what has the take-up been like? What are the numbers like in broad terms (00s? 000s? 0,000s?)?
It has been extremely early days since the product launched, however we have seen several thousand users visit the platform during our launch. As we begin to ramp up on our marketing efforts, we expect the numbers to increase and for engagement to grow.
Q: How does the Vodacom Sports Channel fit into your sports content offering? Do you do rugby and cricket?
A: Vodacom has a tradition of providing various sports content offers to our customers. We have had the Vodacom Soccer portal informing football fans with news and stats on both USSD and web for almost 8 years. We also have a Vodacom Fantasy League product that allows Vodacom customers to pick build their best fantasy teams and partake in a score predictor game, with the opportunity to win airtime on a near daily basis. In the upcoming months we are looking to expand our digital sports and brands offering to include more sports and more interactive products for Vodacom customer to enjoy.
Q: How does sport fit into your broader online content and services offerings?
A: Sports, like music and gaming, is a critical category and passion point which is enjoyed by millions of South Africans on a daily basis, and Vodacom's mission is to democratise access as much as possible to these services. Whether through broad content service portals like Vodacom live!, stand-alone services like MyMuze or Sports Radio, or interest specific portals like our recently launched kids portal Kaboodle, Vodacom seeks to cater for as many passion points as practical for the benefit of digital inclusion across the country
Uganda: Africell has announced that from 7th October 2021, it is going to end all of its operations in Uganda.
Tanzania's Ministry of Communication and Information Technology has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Tanzania Electric Supply Company (TANESCO) to expand broadband connectivity across the country, reports Daily News. Under the agreement, state-owned Tanzania Telecommunication Corporation will utilise TANESCO's electricity infrastructure to roll out fibre-optic broadband connectivity. At present, the country's national fibre-optic network stretches 8,319km and connects 21 regional capitals, but the agreement is expected to increase the length of the infrastructure by 4,450km and connect the remaining ten regions.
Malian Néné Maïga appointed CEO of Orange Botswana, announces Women in Africa (WIA). In 2018, she was appointed Chief of Staff to the CEO of Orange Middle East and Africa. After several months as a member of the Board of Directors of Orange Botswana, Néné Maïga is now the head of this subsidiary.
ABS, a global satellite operator, in partnership with iSAT Africa, a leading satellite solution provider, announced the launch of managed data services on ABS-3A satellite. It will be operating on the ST Engineering iDirect Newtec Dialog platform for the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region. The deployment of this platform offers cost-effective, robust, high-speed broadband services for general enterprises, oil & gas and NGOs users. It is suitable for remote sites in Africa, Middle East and Europe not connected via terrestrial networks as well as for those locations that require diversification of network infrastructures and back-up services for fiber links. The Dialog platform offers high versatility and supports MF-TDMA and SCPC technologies with advanced bandwidth management features.
Pan-African technology group, Liquid Intelligent Technologies, has announced a strategic partnership with global managed network provider, Unitas Global in a bid to meet the demands of rapid digital transformation across the continent. Through strategic interconnections, Liquid and Unitas are now better positioned to serve their customers in Africa and beyond, with this rapid response to the growing demand for secure, cost-effective, Cloud services. The partnership provides enormous expansion opportunities for both companies - Unitas Global further expands Unitas Reach with Liquid's extensive pan-African network (100,000km fibre backbone) that connects to over 40 data centres across 18 African countries, including Africa Data Centres, Teraco, and iColo. Liquid, in turn, will be able to connect to Unitas Global's integrated SDN, IP and Access network. Through its innovative software platform, Unitas Nexus, Liquid will be able to design, price, provision and manage end-to-end connectivity solutions across a cloud-first transport-independent infrastructure.
Kenya: Caribou Digital, Qhala and Mastercard Foundation today launch a new report showcasing the experiences of young Kenyans using digital platforms--from Facebook to Jumia--to earn a living during Covid-19. In 2020, nearly 7 million Kenyans lost their jobs due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Platform Livelihoods report provides an in-depth insight into the creative ways young people in Kenya are using digital platforms to earn a living in this time. For the study, researchers interviewed 74 youths (18-35 years old) in urban and rural Kenya working on platforms in logistics, farming, e-commerce, music and art. Aside from in logistics, a significant number of the participants in each sector were women.
Namibia: Mobile Telecommunications (MTC), Namibia's largest mobile network operator (MNO) by subscribers, has split its shares in a 1:30 ratio ahead of its upcoming listing on the Namibian Stock Exchange (NSX), reports The Namibian. The decision to increase the company's share capital from an initial 25 million shares to 750 million was revealed by the company's CFO Thinus Smit, who said it would ensure affordability and make more shares available for investors and interested Namibians.
Djibouti: The government of Djibouti has approved a draft law outlining the terms and conditions for the legal sale of a partial stake in the country's state-owned fixed and mobile operator Djibouti Telecom to a 'first-rate strategic partner'. In a statement, the government stated that opening up the PTO's share capital is a sign of its determination 'to implement a proactive policy to modernise the country's economy, increase global competitiveness, and optimise the governance and management of state-owned enterprises (SOE)'. The government will now seek to appoint international advisors to oversee the process which is expected to go ahead later in the year. Djibouti set a six-week deadline for bidders to express an interest in purchasing a 40% stake in the country's incumbent fixed and mobile operator. It also warned would-be suitors that it is not averse to introducing competition in the near future.
Ghana's Minister of Communications and Digitalisation, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, has announced that the delayed national SIM card re-registration exercise will begin on 1 October and run until 31 March 2022, after which date all unregistered SIMs will be blocked.