SuperSport: Igniting Ethiopia's Beautiful Game

News 21 February 2024

A Story of Transformation of the Ethiopian Premier League

SuperSport: Igniting Ethiopia's Beautiful Game

For decades, Ethiopian football simmered in the shadows. A whisper in the cafes, a roar in dusty stadiums, the beautiful game pulsed within the nation's heart, unseen by the wider world. Yet, beneath the surface, a passion burned bright, waiting to be ignited. That spark arrived in 2021, bearing the name SuperSport, a sports broadcaster with a vision not just to show African football, but to transform it. In Ethiopia, this transformation has been nothing short of extraordinary, a phoenix rising from the ashes, a testament to the power of collaboration and the unwavering love for the beautiful game.

From Hidden Gem to Global Spectacle:

SuperSport's impact is undeniable. Gone are the days when the EthPL matches were relegated to local whispers. Now, they grace screens across the continent, beamed into living rooms of Addis to Nairobi and to Lagos. Players once known only to the most devout fans, like the mercurial dribbler Abubakar Nassir, are now courted by international scouts. This newfound visibility is a microcosm of SuperSport's commitment across Africa, mirroring the rise of stars like Abel Yalew and Gatoch Panom. It speaks volumes of their mission to unearth hidden gems and elevate them onto the continental stage.

Capacity Building:

Modern football coaching training for head coaches of Premier League participating clubs, up-to-date live television production training for Ethiopian media and self-employed production professionals, to slowly replace senior live broadcast professionals from foreign countries with Ethiopians have been given through SuperSport so far and  recently, SuperSport has provided international training for football coaches in Addis Ababa in collaboration with the Ethiopian Premier League Share Company.

Raising the Bar: Competition Ignites the Continent

But SuperSport doesn't just showcase football; it ignites it. With every EthPL match scrutinized by a continental audience, the pressure to perform is palpable. Players and teams across Africa feel the heat. This has translated into a tangible improvement in time management, tactical awareness, technical skill, and athleticism – a ripple effect felt from the sun-drenched pitches of Ethiopia to the thunderous stadiums of the South African PSL. The tempo has quickened, the passes sharper, the goals more breathtaking. SuperSport has inadvertently sparked a continental revolution, raising the bar for African football by African footballers.

Building the Foundation: Bricks and Mortar for a Brighter Future

SuperSport's commitment extends beyond the camera. It recognized the need for infrastructure upgrades, one of the main reasons instrumental in driving city and government investments in stadium renovations across Ethiopia. The once dilapidated stadiums in Addis Ababa, Bahir Dar, Dire Dawa, Hawassa and Adama, adorned with crumbling concrete and patchy grass, has undergone a magnificent transformation, boasting a lush green surface, floodlit stands, and modern facilities. This emphasis on improved playing conditions isn't just about aesthetics; it creates a professional environment for players, attracts larger audiences, and boosts revenue for the league, laying the foundation for a sustainable future.

Empowering the Future: Transferring Knowledge, Cultivating Expertise

But perhaps the most transformative aspect is the transfer of knowledge. SuperSport's experienced production teams haven't just brought their cameras to Ethiopia; they've brought their expertise. Working alongside local professionals, they've shared their knowledge in camera operation, editing, commentary, and broadcast management. This knowledge exchange is evident in the EthPL's polished productions, rivaling international standards. The once grainy, shaky broadcasts have given way to dynamic camerawork, insightful commentary, and professional graphics. This isn't just about broadcasting the game; it's about telling its story, showcasing the passion, the skill, and the raw emotion that burns on the Ethiopian pitch.

Ethiopia's Climb to Footballing Recognition: SuperSport's Spark Ignites a Revolution

The Ethiopian Premier League (EthPL) faces an uphill battle. Financial limitations compared to giants like South Africa's DStv Premier League and stark infrastructure gaps, especially in remote areas, threaten to impede its progress. Yet, the tide is turning. Fueled by unwavering dedication from SuperSport /MultiChoice and the unyielding passion of the Ethiopian Premier League S.C, EthPL is scaling the ladder of international recognition, and every rung marks a milestone.

Increased viewership, a surge in sponsorships, and the rise of talented players are no mere flickers of progress; they are blazing flames illuminating the path towards a brighter future. But Ethiopia's story transcends its borders. SuperSport's involvement is a microcosm of a pan-African vision, where elevating the EthPL becomes a rising tide lifting all boats. As competition intensifies, infrastructure strengthens, and talent blossoms, the entire continent benefits. This is not just about Ethiopia's beautiful game; it's about Africa's beautiful game, emerging from the shadows and claiming its rightful place on the continental stage.

SuperSport transcends the role of a mere broadcaster. It is a catalyst for change, a partner in progress, and a champion for the dreams of millions. In Ethiopia, they have ignited a footballing revolution, proving that even amidst challenges, hidden gems can shine. With the right spark, like that provided by SuperSport, they can rise to become beacons of hope, inspiration, and the embodiment of the beautiful game itself.

Quick facts and figures:

  • SuperSport has been broadcasting EthPL live on DStv since 2021.
  • The 2013 (Ethiopian Calander) Ethiopian Premier League competition was held in five selected cities in a tournament format only in stadiums that do not have spectators due to covid. As a result, all 13 clubs played five or six games in one place for five or six weeks. Addis Ababa, Jimma, Bahir Dar, Dire Dawa and Hawassa cities hosted competitions.
  • When the league was broadcast in all five cities, it created a great excitement for the host cities and provided an opportunity for the cities to promote their cultural and historical attractions to the whole of Africa.
  • The first champion of Bet King Ethiopian Premier League in 2013 was Fasil Kenema football team.
  • It is undeniable that the Ethiopian national team's chance to qualify for the African Cup of Nations held in Cameroon is the result of the strengthening of the league and the development of football.

Different players from African countries, like Togo, Eritrea, Botswana, Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana, are coming and signing for clubs in the Ethiopian Premier League and this is undoubtedly because of the league’s promotion of Ethiopian Football and its potential to other African countries through live broadcast by SuperSport.

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