Press Release

Posted by Kristie Chong-Adler on January 18, 2013

ESPN Acquires U.S. Rights to 2013 Africa Cup of Nations


To tweet this release:

All 32 Matches will be shown on ESPN3 Saturday, Jan. 19 through Sunday, Feb. 10

ESPN has acquired the U.S. media rights for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, the premier championship for national soccer teams in the continent of Africa.  ESPN3, the company’s live multi-screen sports network available in 83 million homes, will be the primary home for live presentation of the three-week tournament in South Africa from Saturday, Jan. 19 through Sunday, Feb. 10.

ESPN Deportes, the 24-hour Spanish-language sports network, will televise the semifinals and final matches on delay. This is the first time Africa’s most prominent soccer championship will be available in the United States via a media platform reaching a mass audience.

The agreement includes access to match highlights across ESPN media platforms such as ESPN FC, the company’s sole destination for soccer content; studio news, highlights and analysis programs such as SportsCenter, ESPN FC Press Pass on ESPNEWS, as well as SportsCenter and Los Capitanes on ESPN Deportes.

This year’s Africa Cup of Nations is the 29th edition of the tournament.  Teams representing 16 nations compete in the tournament, following a qualification process among the 54 member nations of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), the governing body for the sport of soccer in Africa.  The winner of the tournament will represent Africa in the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup in Brazil, June 15-30, competing in Group B along with Spain (Europe), Uruguay (South America) and Tahiti (Oceana).

Regarded as one of the most festive and colorful soccer tournaments among FIFA’s six football confederations, the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) features some of the best soccer professionals in the top European leagues.  The competition is held every two years.  Some highlights:

  • Every Team has a Chance: Defending champions Zambia won the title in 2012 after ESPN Soccer Power Index (SPI) predicted the Southern Africa country had a two percent chance of winning the tournament.
  • Cote D’Ivoire – A team of Stars:  Shanghai Shenhua striker and current European club champion Didier Drogba leads an odds-on favorite Cote D’Ivoire, which features Manchester City’s Touré brothers (Yaya and Kolo) and Arsenal’s Gervinho.
  • Ghana’s Return to South Africa:  The Ghana National Team returns to South Africa, the site of its most successful FIFA World Cup run in 2010 where it led the six African national teams in the 2010 FIFA World Cup by reaching the quarterfinals after a 2-1 win over the U.S. in a Round of 16 match in Rustenburg.  Asamoah Gyan, who scored the deciding goal in overtime, is Ghana’s team captain.
  • Togo Returns to AFCON:  Togo, led by Tottenham Hotspur’s Emmanuel Adebayor, makes its first appearance in the competition after their team bus was attacked by terrorists as they travelled from a pre-tournament camp through a conflict zone, en-route to the tournament in Angola in 2010.

Groups and Teams:

Group AGroup BGroup CGroup D
South AfricaMaliZambiaTunisia
MoroccoDR CongoBurkina FasoTogo
Cape VerdeGhanaEthiopiaCote D’Ivoire


2013 Africa Cup of Nations Schedule:

DateTime (ET)MatchGroup/#Network
Sat, Jan 1911 a.m.South Africa vs. Cape VerdeA – #1ESPN3
2 p.m.Angola vs. MoroccoA – #2ESPN3
Sun, Jan 2011 a.m.Ghana vs. DR CongoB – #3ESPN3
1 p.m.Mali vs. NigerB – #4ESPN3
Mon, Jan 2110 a.m.Zambia vs. EthiopiaC – #5ESPN3
1 p.m.Nigeria vs. Burkina FasoC – #6ESPN3
Tue, Jan 2210 a.m.Cote D’Ivoire vs. TogoD – #7ESPN3
1 p.m.Tunisia vs. AlgeriaD – #8ESPN3
Wed, Jan 2310 a.m.South Africa vs. AngolaA – #9ESPN3
1 p.m.Morocco vs. Cape VerdeA – #10ESPN3
Thu, Jan 2410 a.m.Ghana vs. MaliB – #11ESPN3
1 p.m.Niger vs. DR CongoB – #12ESPN3
Fri, Jan 2510 a.m.Zambia vs. NigeriaC – #13ESPN3
1 p.m.Burkina Faso vs. EthiopiaC – #14ESPN3
Sat, Jan 2610 a.m.Cote D’Ivoire vs. TunisiaD – #15ESPN3
1 p.m.Algeria vs. TogoD – #16ESPN3
Sun, Jan 2712 p.m.Cape Verde vs. AngolaA – #17ESPN3
12 p.m.Morocco vs. South AfricaA – #18ESPN3
Mon, Jan 2812 p.m.Niger vs. GhanaB – #19ESPN3
12 p.m.DR Congo vs. MaliB – #20ESPN3
Tue, Jan 2912 p.m.Ethiopia vs. NigeriaC – #21ESPN3
12 p.m.Burkina Faso vs. ZambiaC – #22ESPN3
Wed, Jan 3012 p.m.Algeria vs. Cote D’IvoireD – #23ESPN3
12 p.m.Togo vs. TunisiaD  - #24ESPN3
Sat, Feb 210 a.m.1B vs. 2A: Quarterfinal #1#26ESPN3
1:30 p.m.1A vs. 2B: Quarterfinal #2#25ESPN3
Sun, Feb 310 a.m.1D vs. 2C: Quarterfinal #3#27ESPN3
1:30 p.m.1C vs. 2D: Quarterfinal #4#28ESPN3
Wed, Feb 610 a.m.Winners 25 vs. 28: Semifinal #1#29ESPN3 /*ESPN Deportes
1:30 p.m.Winners 27 vs. 26: Semifinal #2#30ESPN3 /*ESPN Deportes
Sat, Feb 91 p.m.Losers 29 vs. 30: Third Place#31ESPN3
Sun, Feb 101 p.m.Winners 29 vs. 30: Final#32ESPN3 /*ESPN Deportes

*ESPN Deportes presentation will be on delay.

About ESPN3:

ESPN3 is ESPN’s live multi-screen sports network, a destination that delivers thousands of global sports events annually and accessible online via, on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app and through ESPN on Xbox LIVE to Gold members.  It is currently available to 83 million homes at no additional cost to fans who receive their high-speed Internet connection or video subscription from an affiliated service provider.  The network is also available at no cost to approximately 21 million U.S. college students and U.S.-based military personnel via computers connected to on-campus educational networks and on-base military networks.

ESPN and Soccer in the United States:

ESPN is committed to offering comprehensive coverage of the world’s premier soccer events in the United States.  ESPN is the English-language television home – and other languages, except Spanish – in the U.S. for the FIFA World Cup, the FIFA Confederations Cup and other FIFA events through 2014.  The media company is also the English- and Spanish-language home of the UEFA European Football Championship through 2016™, and a collection of FIFA World Cup qualifying matches from UEFA nations – Spain, Germany, France and more.  ESPN’s multimedia platforms also provide extensive coverage of a myriad of top-tier international leagues – Barclays Premier League in England and the U.S., the Dutch Eredivise, Mexico’s Liga MX, and Major League Soccer in the U.S., as well as telecasts of the United States National Team matches, international friendlies, and more.