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Showmax Pro Records Massive Year-On-Year Growth Ahead Of World Cup In Qatar 2022

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As Showmax Pro ramps up for its biggest broadcasting event yet – the FIFA World Cup Qatar, where all 64 matches will be streamed live, courtesy of SuperSport, the African streaming service has just announced a 111% year-on-year growth.

Showmax Pro is a streaming service available for subscribers in Africa that bundles the existing Showmax entertainment offering with music channels, news, and live sports streaming from SuperSport.

For the first time since the platform was launched in 2020, Showmax Pro will offer a 4K streaming experience to subscribers for the World Cup, the biggest sports tournament in the world, scheduled to start this weekend, on Sunday, November 20, 2022.

The 4K stream will have up to 50 frames per second (fps), double the standard 25 frames per second (fps). Successful 4K tests have already taken place on selected English Premier League (EPL) matches.

Showmax made history by becoming the first streaming service in Africa to make mobile downloads possible for offline viewing and launched the lowest data streaming option in Africa last year on iOS devices, a feature that will help fans not to miss out on any of their favourite matches.

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Speaking on the game’s debut, Barry Dubovsky, Chief Operating Officer of MultiChoice Connected Video said: “We’re offering our sports fan the opportunity to watch the world’s greatest sports spectacle in 4K, at an exceptional price point. This time of year is all about bringing communities together, through sport and entertainment.”

According to the recent integrated report released by MultiChoice on November 10, 2022, Showmax Pro has grown 111% year on year. Showmax’s entertainment plan is hot on its heels with paying subscribers growing 50% year on year across Africa. “This will be a significant landmark for the whole Showmax Pro team,” says Barry Dubovsky, COO of MultiChoice Connected Video.

Showmax is offering some features that will give an exciting experience to subscribers. When streaming FIFA World Cup games on Showmax Pro, subscribers will be able to pause at key moments and rewind for up to five minutes to ensure they don’t miss a second of the action before returning to live viewing.

Showmax Pro also features wildly popular sports documentary series such as Moment of Truth, which recounts the most iconic moments of the FIFA World Cup; HBO’s Emmy-winning 100 Foot Wave, about big wave surfing; and Tiger, a Critics’ Choice nominated look at golf legend Tiger Woods’ life, success, and scandals.

The platform also provides a wide range of other live sports events, such as athletics, professional boxing, and the world’s biggest marathons.

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SPORTS

South Africa Trembling Ahead Of Their Match With Nigeria

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Super Eagles

Exactly four months after being bumped and relegated to the third-place match of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) by the Super Eagles, South Africa’s Bafana Bafana are nervous as they face the three-time African champions again in a crucial 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifying match in Uyo.

Only three days ago, the Super Falcons pushed the reigning African champions, Banyana Banyana, off the bus to this year’s Women’s Olympic Football Tournament, instead grabbing the ticket to secure their first appearance at the glamour tournament in 16 years.

The assured manner of Nigeria’s victories in the two fixtures has left the South African football hierarchy perplexed, and there is insufficient time to recover or rethink strategies before the Bafana Bafana face the Super Eagles on Day 3 of the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifying series at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo on Friday, June 7.

With two points from their previous two games, but aware of their advantage over Bafana Bafana, the African vice-champions are confident of getting three points on the day, which could propel them to the top of the pool.

On February 7th, at the Stade de la Paix in Bouake, the Super Eagles defeated Bafana Bafana in the 34th Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) third-place match.

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Despite achieving parity late in the game, the Bafana were outmatched in the penalty shootout, with Ni-geria’s South African-based goalkeeper Stanley Nwabali saving two of the Bafana’s kicks.

South Africans’ boasts of defeating the Super Falcons in the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament in revenge were dashed when the Banyana Banyana failed to score a goal in 180 minutes of action, with the two teams separated by Rasheedat Ajibade’s penalty kick goal in Abuja on Friday, April 5.

Despite being one point ahead of the Super Eagles in their FIFA World Cup qualifying group, the Bafana Bafana will fall behind once they face the Super Eagles’ superior strength, skill, and savvy on another Friday in June.

It should be noted that Nigeria defeated South Africa 2-1 in the quarterfinals of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AF-CON) in Cairo.

The Super Eagles players are already gearing up to deliver big punches to Bafana Bafana in Uyo in a few weeks.

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Only on Thursday night, top striker Victor Boniface returned from the injury that kept him out of the AFCON, scoring off the bench in Bayer Leverkusen’s Europa League quarterfinal against West Ham United of England.

Victor Osimhen, African Player of the Year, has also been scoring for SC Napoli in the Italian Serie A.

Goalkeeper Nwabali remains in excellent shape, and midfielders Alex Iwobi and Ademola Lookman shone in a friendly victory over Ghana.

–Independent

 

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Liverpool’s 0-3 Home Defeat To Atalanta Leave Their Europa League Hopes Hanging

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Mid field tussle between Liverpool and Atalanta

Gianluca Scamacca scored twice and Mario Pasalic added another as the Reds were stunned and lost their long-held home record on a chaotic night at Anfield.
Atalanta stunned Liverpool in the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final at Anfield.

Liverpool had a proud unbeaten record at Anfield stretching back to February 21, 2023 when Real Madrid won 4-3 – a run of 33 matches – but were way off the pace against an out-of-form side who sit sixth in Serie A.
Jurgen Klopp made six substitutions for the match and was surprised by his team’s performance in what will be his final European home game unless they perform spectacularly in the second leg in Bergamo.

Darwin Nunez spurned a presentable one-on-one chance and Harvey Elliott struck the crossbar with a bending shot before Atalanta hit the front.
Former West Ham striker Gianluca Scamacca gave Atalanta the lead when his scuffed finish somehow snuck underneath Caoimhin Kelleher at the near post and the Liverpool goalkeeper was forced into two important stops before the break.

Andy Robertson, Dominik Szoboszlai and Mohamed Salah were summoned from the bench at half-time, but to little effect and Atalanta hit back with a sucker punch.
Scamacca was given the freedom of the penalty area to side-foot home another cross on the hour-mark.

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Klopp chose to make six changes to the team which drew 2-2 at Manchester United.
One of which saw Andy Robertson left on the bench to allow Kostas Tsimikas a start at left-back.
That decision looked like a simple case of rotation at the start of the match, but by half-time it looked like a serious error.

While Tsimikas made a few overhit crosses going forward, that was not his main issue. He was nowhere to be seen for Atalanta’s opening goal, having pushed far too high up the pitch, giving Davide Zappacosta plenty of space to cross for Scamacca.

And, after giving the ball away again, Tsimikas was even more clearly at fault just before the break, as Kelleher smothered Teun Koopmeiners’ effort.

Klopp has high expectations for his full-backs going forward, but Tsimikas’ positioning was disastrous in the first half.

The Liverpool manager was seen sprinting down the tunnel at half-time, and he made three substitutions, one of which included Tsimikas.

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When standing in for Alisson this season, Kelleher has been so assured and impressive that it has been easy to overlook the Brazilian No.1’s consistent performance.

The Irishman has generally been calm, dependable, and an excellent game reader. We saw those characteristics in the first half, but we also witnessed a sloppy and entirely avoidable error.

Scamacca’s attempt was bobbled into the ground and should have been easily stopped, but Kelleher failed to react in time. He probably would have preferred one of Atalanta’s other excellent chances to be converted, but he saved brilliantly from Mario Pasalic with his face and from Koopmeiners with his body.

 

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David Moyes Confirms Injured Jarrod Bowen Will Miss UEFA Europa League Tie At Bayer Leverkusen

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David Moyes of West Ham

David Moyes has confirmed that West Ham will be without Jarrod Bowen for the first leg of their UEFA Europa League quarter-final against Bayer Leverkusen.

The England international has been in stunning form for his club, netting 19 times in 40 appearances in all competitions.

Also unavailable for the Hammers are Edson Alvarez, Alphonse Areola and Kalvin Phillips.

West Ham have been dealt a blow ahead of the first leg of their UEFA Europa League quarter-final away to Bayer Leverkusen, with top scorer Jarrod Bowen ruled out through injury.

The 27-year-old took a heavy knock in Saturday’s 2-1 win away to Wolves in the Premier League, which forced him off in the 54th minute at Molineux.

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Hammers boss David Moyes confirmed he will be without Bowen, who has netted 19 times in all competitions from 40 appearances so far this campaign, on the eve of the trip to Germany to face the runaway Bundesliga leaders.

“Jarrod’s not with us,” said Moyes. “He’s got an injury and he’s not available to play tomorrow night. We’re not sure about when he might return at the moment.

“We think [when he got the knee in his back] he’s twisted and he’s probably damaged a bit of something, a bit like a fast bowler gets in cricket. It’s about the rotation, which is where we think the damage has come from.

“Jarrod will always be a miss because he’s a boy who’s played a big part in memorable games for us, especially in the UEFA Europa Conference League final last year.

“But these things happen in football, and we have players ready to come in to try and get the job done for us.”

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Midfielder Edson Alvarez is suspended for the clash at the BayArena, while goalkeeper Alphonse Areola and Kalvin Phillips are also on the injury list.

“Alphonse Areola isn’t here with us for this one,” Moyes added.

“Kalvin Phillips kicked the back of someone’s leg in training, and we think he’s just tweaked a bit of a lower hamstring, at the back of his knee. I don’t think it’ll be long-term, but it only happened yesterday so I’m not too sure at the moment.

“Edson’s out as well, and we have to find a way to cover that area of the pitch. He does a good job for us in different ways, but we have to play without him.”

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