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SABC strikes historic deal with EFC
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Wed, 25 Jan 2017 09:37

On 24 January 2017, SABC Sport announced a multi-year broadcast partnership with EFC, the leading mixed martial arts (MMA) organisation on the African continent. The conclusion of this agreement is a groundbreaking and historic moment for MMA.

EFC has had continued growth since its inception, from a local MMA promotion to one of the world leaders, reaching over 600 million homes in 110 countries around the world daily. SABC Sport has partnered with EFC to bring the sport even closer to South African fans.

“Over the years, SABC Sport has been committed to bringing top local and international sports properties to viewers across South Africa,” stated SABC Sport’s group executive, Sully Motsweni. Motsweni continued, “I am proud to announce that SABC Sport has partnered with EFC, a home-grown world-leading Mixed Martial Arts organisation.”

The new partnership will see hours of dedicated EFC programming every week on SABC 3, as well as 10 live EFC event broadcasts per year. Starting 11 February, SABC 3 will broadcast two hours of exciting EFC programming every Saturday evening from 21h00. The best bouts from the Extreme Fighting Championship will be featured along with premium programming building up to each new live EFC event. On the evening of every EFC event, SABC 3 will broadcast the full three hour live event, featuring the five main-card bouts.

“This is a huge day for mixed martial arts and EFC fans across South Africa,” stated EFC president Cairo Howarth. “Now Saturday nights have got a whole lot more exciting thanks to SABC Sport!” Howarth added, “This is a huge milestone for EFC, its partners and the EFC athletes, who will all be showcased to millions of SABC 3 viewers every Saturday night and repeated on Monday afternoon. Exciting times for MMA!”

Notable highlights of the new broadcast partnership include:

• EFC’s ten annual live event broadcasts will feature all five main card bouts, aired live between 21h00 and 00h00 CAT on SABC 3.
• The first live event broadcast will be EFC 57 on 4 March.
• Dedicated repeat broadcasts will take place the following Monday at 14h00.
• A weekly two-hour broadcast of EFC Premium Fight episodes, Countdown Shows and other exciting EFC content from 21h00 to 23h00 every Saturday on SABC 3.

The SABC has always prided itself in producing and promoting the best home-grown television productions as well as bringing the best international sport and entertainment to local viewers,” stated SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago. He continued, “EFC events are hosted across South Africa, and appeal to a wide local audience. We are very proud to be promoting the sport in the different provinces and bringing all the top-quality EFC programming to SABC.” Kganyago concluded, “Starting 11 February, Saturday nights will never be the same again.”

Sport personality, Sias du Plessis, announced the co-main event for the highly anticipated EFC 57 event on 4 March. Reigning flyweight champion, Nkazimulo Zulu will face interim flyweight champion JP Buys in a title unification bout. The two champions, both hungry for victory, stood head-to-head for an intense face-off.

The fight announcement was followed by an open workout with the EFC 57 main event athletes, the undefeated featherweight champion, Igeu ‘Smiley’ Kabesa, and the former champion and challenger, Boyd Allen.

All eyes now turn to EFC 57: Kabesa vs Allen, Zulu vs Buys on Saturday 4 March 2017 at Carnival City, Johannesburg. Tickets are on sale soon at Computicket, and the five main card bouts will be broadcast live on Kwese Sports (Sub-Saharan Africa), Kwesι Free Sports (Kenya and Rwanda) and live in South Africa on SABC 3 starting 21h00 (CAT).

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