Discover Digital buys sports content for web TV

April 25, 2014 07.48 Europe/London By Robert Briel

flag-of-south-africaDiscover Digital, a South African digital entertainment business, has concluded its first sports content deal in anticipation of the launch of web TV in South Africa later this year.

The company has acquired the streaming, download and electronic sell through (EST) rights to South Africa’s premier national motorcycle racing category, the Monster Energy SuperGP Champions Trophy.

The acquisition comes on the back of Discover Digital’s development and agency partnership with Ireland’s announced in November 2013.

Discover Digital has spent two years researching and developing a bespoke Over-the-Top (OTT) internet television solution for the African market. It will offer customers both Transactional Video on Demand (TVoD) and Subscription Video on Demand (SVoD) services through local telecommunications networks and Internet Service Providers.

Gary Buskin, a Discover Digital executive, said that the acquisition is a major milestone for the company as the first local sports content acquisition: “We have the capability to stream live content, which will open up a whole new market for sports rights holders looking to increase their audience reach beyond the traditional broadcast space. The deal forms part of our strategy to build a strong international and national sports portfolio for our customers.”

Buskin says that the success of businesses like Netflix in the USA bodes well for a similar service to be available in Africa. “The advancement of internet television is inevitable and sports content will form an important part of any operator’s content catalogue,” he says.

GAS Sports, the promoter and rights holder of the Monster Energy SuperGP Champions Trophy, is equally enthusiastic about the deal. Sivile Mabandla, GAS Sports’ chairman said, “Broadcast coverage over the internet provides us with the ability to reach a new audience in Africa, over and above our existing television broadcast plans. We are delighted to venture into this new media sector with Discover Digital.”

Discover Digital has developed the infrastructure required to launch its service in the South African market towards the middle of the year and has already conducted numerous tests of the system. It is actively driving content acquisition of both traditional video content and sports.