president & head of corporate affairs
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 independently produced The African Soccer Show, as well as Futbol Africa andAfrican Stars in Europefor SuperSport - broadcast in over 30 African countries. He won the SAB South African Sports Journalist of the Yearaward for Best TV Insert in 2006 for his story on football and reconciliation in Rwanda, (for Futbol Africa). At the 2008 African Cup of Nations in Ghana, he was Executive Producer on SuperSport’s live daily news and highlights show, Akwaaba, from Accra.
During this time Gary also worked closely with the Confederation of African Football(CAF), with co-creating and managing the CAF African Player of the Year Awardsevent 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 SuperSportin 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 Africaproject, but found himself drawn back into the business of African sports media as Head of Sportfor East African broadcaster Zukubetween 2013-14. In 2014 he took up a role as Director of Sportfor Chinese/African broadcaster StarTimes, and over the next year and a half worked to strategize, develop and launch 5 new sports channels for them. More recently, he was the senior consultant on African Sport and Media for the Discovery Channel. He is currently working in partnership with UK-based agency, AfroSport,to create a new media initiative and content services platform for African sports fans.
Over and above this, he has also consulted and advised on sports media rights and business strategies, and content, for Nigerian broadcaster Minaj, investment group TPG, African media company AfricaXP(developing a new sports channel), as well as global sports rights enterprise B4 Advisory.