Eddie Chikamhi-Senior Sports Reporter

ZIMPAPERS Television Network yesterday entered a new territory after signing a broadcast deal with Zimbabwe Rugby Union for the broadcast of the upcoming 2023 Rugby Africa Men’s Sevens next week.

The 12-team tournament, to be hosted at Harare Sports Club on September 16-17, will double as the qualifiers for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.

Speaking at the signing ceremony yesterday, ZTN general manager Nomsa Nkala said the high-octane matches of rugby’s exciting, shorter version, will be broadcast exclusively on DStv channel 294.   

ZTN Prime has established itself as the leading sports channel in the country after landing the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League broadcast rights as well as the inaugural Zim Afro-T10 held at Harare Sports Club recently.

 “I am sure you have seen that sport is one of the big things for us. We have covered T10 cricket, we have football, so rugby has always been our next big thing.

“We are excited to be partnering with ZRU. It’s a big deal for us, so we are really excited and looking forward to it,” said Nkala.

Zimbabwe will host some of the top countries on the continent that include Algeria, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, Madagascar, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Tunisia, Uganda and Zambia.

The winner will qualify for the 2024 Olympics in Paris, and the second and third placed teams will get another chance in the 2024 Final Olympic Qualification Tournament featuring the runners-up from across the continents. In addition, the top two teams will qualify for the 2024 Challenger Series.

ZRU Communication and Marketing Manager, Robbie Du Rand was excited by the ZTN broadcast deal.

“Now that we have partnered with you it’s going to be all systems goal in making sure we put up a massive show with Olympic qualifiers, you cannot go bigger than that in Africa,” he said.

“With all those big teams coming from all over Africa, that’s going to be exciting.  

“ZRU is really excited about the start of this and I think a lot of stuff can grow so we are very excited.

“We are very excited and obviously this event that is coming up next week is an international event. Rugby Africa who is the pinnacle and the founder of this opportunity have given ZRU the opportunity to host and that international exposure which we are excited about.”

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