Press Office

Wednesday 24 Sep 2014

Press Releases

BBC World Service puts football in the hands of fans – launching new multimedia services in Africa

Landmark year of football kicks off with BBC African Footballer of the Year 2009 award and 27th Africa Cup of Nations, Angola 2010

The Director of BBC World Service, Peter Horrocks, arrives in Nairobi this week to launch new multimedia initiatives for Africa.

He will also unveil a landmark year of BBC African football coverage starting with the 27th Africa Cup of Nations 2010 and announcement of the winner of the BBC African Footballer of the Year 2009 Award.

Peter Horrocks says: "Africa is at the heart of the BBC World Service, with over 80 million listeners interacting with our nine language services on a weekly basis, through the radio, online and mobile phones.

"Our new mobile services offer audiences more flexibility and choice about how and where they access BBC news and sport.

"In a landmark year for football in Africa, BBC World Service will bring fans, both within Africa and internationally, closer to the action on and off the pitch," he says.

New multimedia services puts football in the hands of African fans

As part of BBC World Service's multimedia strategy, Peter Horrocks will, on Tuesday 5 January 2010, unveil five new services for mobile phones via BBC Hausa, BBC Swahili, BBC Somali, BBC Para Africa (BBC Portuguese for Africa) and BBC Great Lakes.

The new services will enable users to access up-to-date regional and international news from their mobile phones.

These new services complement the existing the existing BBC News and BBC Sport English language mobile websites: and

They can be accessed worldwide from the following sites:,,, and, connecting users in Africa and diaspora audiences around the globe.

Peter Horrocks says: "With mobile subscriptions in Africa forecast to reach nearly 790 million by the end of 2014, and penetration in Africa estimated to be 45% at the end of 2009, increasing to nearly 70% at the end of 2014, these new BBC mobile services offer audiences in Africa increased choice and flexibility about when and where they access BBC news." (* see Notes to Editors).

Africans will also be able to get football results and news updates from the English Premier League and other major international tournaments, 24-hours a day, from their mobile phones by connecting with one of these mobile sites.

This new football news content service will be launched on:,, and

This launch will be supported by a pan-African marketing campaign, including bespoke radio trails, SMS broadcasts and targeted TV and billboard advertising in key markets.

BBC African Footballer of the Year 2009

Director of BBC World Service, Peter Horrocks, will be in Angola, for the announcement of the winner of the BBC African Footballer of the Year 2009.

BBC World Service's flagship sports programme for Africa, Fast Track, will be announcing the results live from Angola on Friday 8 January 2010.

The shortlist for this year's competition, as selected by football experts throughout Africa, includes Didier Drogba (Chelsea and Ivory Coast), Michael Essien (Chelsea and Ghana), Samuel Eto'o (Inter Milan and Cameroon), Tresor Mputu Mabi (TP Mazembe and DR Congo) and Yaya Toure (Barcelona and Ivory Coast), with fans voting for the final winner.

BBC coverage of the Africa Cup of Nations Tournament

With 2010 marking a milestone year for football in Africa, BBC World Service has also unveiled an extensive line-up of coverage, both on and off the pitch, kicking off with the 27th Africa Cup of Nations, Angola 2010 and culminating in June with the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.

BBC World Service will be broadcasting the tournament in nine languages and English on FM in Africa.

With reporters at every game, highlights will include live coverage of matches on FM relays across Africa, interviews, news reports and reaction on air; online at and on mobiles via,,,, and

The BBC's live coverage of the tournament begins on Sunday 10 January 2010, with live coverage of the opening ceremony and the first game between Angola and Mali in Luanda from 18:20 GMT, with kick-off at 19:00 GMT.

Other tournament highlights include coverage of the semi-finals and, with the tournament culminating on 31 January, live coverage of the final in Luanda, from 15:32 to 18:00 GMT (kick-off at 16:00 GMT).

The BBC's global sport programme Sportsworld, hosted by Russell Fuller, will be reporting live from the tournament and hosting a special interactive Sportsworld Have Your Say, engaging fans around the world on the big football issues of the day.

Africa Have Your Say will also be broadcasting a special show, talking to fans across the continent about the tournament.

African Football blog with Piers Edwards

Launched at the start of December, BBC World Service's Piers Edwards weekly blog on African football covers the major talking points in the game and the latest news on the African superstars playing in the European leagues.

Piers will be in Angola to cover the tournament, both online and as part of BBC World Service's commentary team –

Coverage across Africa

BBC Afrique ( will offer audiences commentary from the quarter-finals stage onwards.

The Africa Cup of Nations specials on BBC Hausa radio, and online on, will explore the history of the tournament and profile the participating teams.

There will be group-by-group analysis and previews of the games and, in the build-up to key matches, reports from the home countries involved in each match, and interviews with fans who have travelled to Angola to support their teams.

BBC Portuguese for Africa will report on the Africa Cup of Nations opening ceremony from Luanda.

During the last 10 days of the tournament, each of the service's three daily broadcasts, as well as the website,, will feature live reports from Luanda.

BBC Portuguese for Africa will also look at the social and human-interest stories from the locations where the other matches will take place: Luanda, Lubango, Benguela and Cabinda.

In the run-up to the tournament, from 3 January, BBC Swahili will broadcast the Who Is Who? series, profiling the teams and the players.

In addition to covering the tournament live from the quarter-finals, BBC Swahili will run reports on matches outside Luanda.

These reports will run in BBC Swahili radio programmes – including the flagship news and current-affairs programmes, Dira ya Dunia, Leo Africa and Amka na BBC.

Live reports and interviews will also be given prominence in the sports programme, Ulimwengu wa Soka, on Saturdays, and in the Sunday sports review, Michezo na Wachezaji.

All this programming, along with regular updates and latest results, will be available to online audiences on

Special football programming on BBC World Service English

BBC World Service English will be focusing on the beautiful game, on and off the pitch, examining the history of African football in Africa Kicks, a new four-part series, presented by Fast Track host Farayi Mungazi.

Premiering on Friday 8 January 2010, 20:00 GMT, this series tells the story of the game in Africa. From Algeria to Ghana, Zambia and beyond, the series reveals that, as the empires crumbled, football became essential to nation-building.

It also examines how the history of football in Africa is not just intensely political, but has also been shaped by the globalisation of sport.

BBC World Service English's religion and ethics programme Heart & Soul will ask, "Should God be allowed on the Pitch?", on Wednesday 6 January at 23.30 GMT.

Rev Richard Coles explores the role faith plays in football and asks how realistic – and desirable – it is to expect football to be secular.

Later this year, BBC World Service is also to broadcast a special programme placing football under the spotlight, The Power And The Passion.

Presented by David Godblatt, it explores the meaning and occasional madness of the game that unites people around the world. The programme will broadcast in June ahead of the World Cup.

Notes to Editors

* Data Source: Informa Telecoms & Media.

All documentaries can be accessed post-transmission via

About mobile websites: All of the sites will have device detection, enabling users to access the regular url and be automatically redirected to the mobile version.

BBC World Service is an international multimedia broadcaster delivering 32 language and regional services, including: Albanian, Arabic, Azeri, Bengali, Burmese, Cantonese, English, English for Africa, English for the Caribbean, French for Africa, Hausa, Hindi, Indonesian, Kinyarwanda/Kirundi, Kyrgyz, Macedonian, Mandarin, Nepali, Pashto, Persian, Portuguese for Africa, Portuguese for Brazil, Russian, Serbian, Sinhala, Somali, Spanish for Latin America, Swahili, Tamil, Turkish, Ukrainian, Urdu, Uzbek, and Vietnamese.

It uses multiple platforms to reach its weekly audience of 188 million globally, including shortwave, AM, FM, digital satellite and cable channels.

Its news sites, which received 4.7 million weekly visitors in September 2009, include audio and video content and offer opportunities to join the global debate.

It has around 2,000 partner radio stations which take BBC content, and numerous partnerships supplying content to mobile phones and other wireless handheld devices.

For more information, visit For a weekly alert about BBC World Service programmes, sign up for the BBC World Agenda e-guide at

BBC World Service Publicity

To top

Press releases by date:

Press release by:

RSS feeds:

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.