JOHANNESBURG – Independent Media and StarSat, a top digital satellite television brand operating in the South African market, have joined forces on a landmark content partnership to promote coverage of the popular German Bundesliga league in South Africa.
The Bundesliga is one of the most exciting leagues in world football, boasting the highest average stadium attendance worldwide, and is well-established as a favourite amongst football fans in Africa.
The Bundesliga has produced some of the game’s most remarkable teams and players, whose names are etched into the soul of the global game – including icons such as Fritz Walter, Franz Beckenbauer, Gerd Muller, Lothar Matthaus, Jurgen Klinsmann and Miroslav Klose, to name just a few – who represent a tradition of football-excellence equal to any in the world.
The partnership between Independent Media and StarSat kicked off today with a dedicated Bundesliga focus in Independent’s flagship national morning newspaper titles – The Star, Pretoria News, The Mercury and Cape Times.
Bundesliga highlights and updated match-play information will run in each of these newspaper titles each and every Wednesday, and will continue up until the end of the current Bundesliga season in May 2018.
The campaign will also run on the IOL Sport digital platform, which will host a dedicated Bundesliga section.
“Our partnership with Independent Media marks a critical milestone in our growth trajectory as a digital platform operating in South Africa. Such a partnership is strategic in the pursuance of our vision to deliver affordable digital TV entertainment to every South African family.
“The development of our content offer, network and subscriber-base, both here in South Africa and across the continent, has been driven by our promise to deliver compelling digital television entertainment to the vast majority (and not just a small elite).
“That we can now offer this great football league to all South Africans is testament to our commitment to providing our viewers with the very best sports entertainment in the world,” said Mr John Yan, CEO of StarTimes Media SA.
“StarSat has established 5 sports channels (3 of which are HD), dedicated to the coverage of all Bundesliga, Serie A, Ligue 1 live matches, highlights and magazine programmes.
“South African customers can now access all of our StarSat sports channels, as well as over 80 other TV channels inclusive of culturally diverse entertainment, local and international news for up to R199 per month.
“I am truly excited about the partnership with Independent Media, as it will raise national awareness of a new and alternative pay-television viewing experience, flavoured by the high-impact Bundesliga matches, as well as other world-class sporting events exclusive to StarSat,” Mr Yan added.
StarSat is the Official Broadcaster as well as exclusive rights holder of the Bundesliga in sub-Saharan Africa, and also the home to other leading European football leagues such as Italian Serie A and French Ligue 1.
South Africa enjoys a long and rich history with the Bundesliga, with former Bafana Bafana internationals such as Steven Pienaar (Borussia Dortmund), Delron Buckley (Bochum, Borussia Dortmund) and Bradley Carnell (Stuttgart) all having had stellar careers in the German top-flight.
Former Kaizer Chiefs striker Knowledge Musona also enjoyed some success in the Bundesliga at Hoffenheim, while former Premier Soccer League coaches Ernst Middendorp and Muhsin Ertugral too have a strong traditional connection with the German league.
Pienaar, who also had much success with Tottenham Hotspur and Everton in the English Premier League, kick-started this exciting seven-month campaign with a column today on his reflections as a Dortmund player, ahead of the massive clash this Saturday when Dortmund host the mighty Bayern Munich at the Signal Iduna Park.
“There is something very special about playing at the Dortmund arena. The atmosphere in that stadium is arguably the best I’ve experienced in my entire playing career. A Dortmund home match against Bayern is one of the greatest events any sportsman can be a part of,” Pienaar said of this weekend’s epic clash.
“For us at Independent, the partnership with StarSat is a special one. The digital satellite television space is a very contested one at the moment, and it’s exciting to see new entrants coming into the market and giving viewers greater choice and variety.
“Independent has a strong, loyal and knowledgeable football following across our titles, and we are very happy to be partnering with StarSat to bring greater awareness and promotion of one of the best leagues in the world,” said Jermaine Craig, head of Independent Media Solutions: Sport.
As part of the partnership, Independent journalists will go on scheduled media tours to the Bundesliga and enjoy first-hand exposure to the league.
The first media tour is earmarked for November and will include excursions to two Bundesliga matches – the first when Dortmund will host neighbours Schalke in a red-hot Ruhr district derby and the second in Cologne, where FC Köln is set to host Hertha Berlin.
StarSat and Independent will soon announce details of a reader competition in which lucky Independent readers and StarSat subscribers stand a chance to win a trip to Germany to experience the Bundesliga football extravaganza up close.
* To coincide with the launch, StarSat is giving away 10 StarSat Combo3 decoders (with full installation) as well as several quality Bundesliga and StarSat branding gifts to Independent readers and StarSat subscribers.
For further information and inquiries about this partnership, please contact Sundesh Mahes at Independent Media at [email protected] and (011) 633-2615.
And at StarSat, please contact the call center hotline on 011 582 9988 for customer inquiries.