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Gary Rathbone is the founder of Sports News Africa, an endeavor to create new and relevant sports programming for African broadcasters and advertisers looking to bring engaging sports content to viewers across the continent.
He has been involved in African football as a journalist and TV producer since the mid 90’s. He has written, produced and directed a host of African sports shows – including the first pan-African football show, The African Soccer Show, and Futbol Africa for SuperSport - and documentaries that have been broadcast in over 30 African countries. He won the SAB South African Sports Journalist of the Year award for Best TV Insert in 2006 for his piece on football and reconciliation in Rwanda, produced for his Futbol Africa show.
Over the past 18 years Gary has worked closely with a range of people connected to both sport and media across Africa, including the Confederation of African Football (CAF), with whom he worked to create and manage the CAF African Player of the Year Awards event between 2001 and 2005.
In a move taking him from production to the business side of African sports media, he was appointed the first Head of Africa for SuperSport in 2008, where he was responsible for managing all aspects of the network’s business in sport and broadcasting outside of South Africa. Here he worked to develop the potential of local sport, including the Kenyan, Nigerian, Ghanaian, Uganda, Angolan and Zambian football leagues, helping them become an attractive and exciting proposition to fans, the media and sponsors in their own countries and beyond.
He resigned in 2012 to focus on his Sports News Africa project, but found himself drawn back into the business of African sports media as Head of Sport for East African broadcaster Zuku between 2013-14. From there he was appointed as Director of Sport for Chinese/African broadcaster StarTimes 2014-15, developing and launching 5 new sports channels for the broadcaster in 2015. More recently, he worked as a consultant on African Sport and Media for the Discovery Channel. He is currently working in partnership with African channel builder Africa XP to develop and launch a new sports channel, Sports Connect.
Over and above this, in 2017 he also consulted and advised on sports media rights for Nigerian broadcaster Minaj and investment group TPG, in their investment in the Azam Pay TV network in Tanzania, as well as global sports rights enterprise B4 Advisory.