TNM Super League matches television rights holders Beta Television (Beta TV) have offered to partner with other media organisations in an effort to have a high quality product that can also reach out to more football fans across the country.
Beta TV managing director Maneno Mtawali said they are not after competition, but rather to ensure Malawians at large enjoy high quality live football.
He however, noted that Beta TV cannot do this alone hence the need to partner with other media organisations.
“We are not here to compete but rather to partner with other media houses for the good of football development. We realise that the corporate world are also a key partner to make our dream of revolutionalising football in this country come true. We cannot do this alone and, therefore, urge all stakeholders including corporate world, media houses and even individuals to do the little they can to contribute to making Malawi football grow,” he said.
So far, Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS) have expressed interest.
The station’s director of sales and marketing Africano Phiri said they would consider partnering Beta TV.
“All along we were of the view that this would be done well if media houses came together and formed a partnership based on their various strengths,” he said. “As Zodiak, we are more than ready to partner Beta TV. After all, the purpose is to ensure Malawians that love football enjoy the game on television. We are all after one purpose.”
He, however, said they would first have to meet Beta on how the partnership would work.
Phiri said: “We will have to first discuss with them the modalities of the partnership. Is it in terms of getting a clean feed from them or us doing the actual production of the games and on what terms? For us, we are comfortable with either arrangement, but then what’s in it for us in terms of business opportunities.”
Beta started beaming the matches last weekend albeit with some technical challenges like power outage.
The first match between Blue Eagles and Be Forward Wanderers was only beamed in the second-half as there was loss of signal due to a blackout.
However, there was an improvement the following day when the Nyasa Big Bullets and Silver Strikers match was beamed without power interruptions.
“Power outage is our biggest challenge. For us to reboot using our generators takes almost 20 minutes; this interrupted our production,” marketing consultant Dan Tambala said.
But Phiri advised against relying on Escom electricity.
“The challenges will always be there. You just have to make sure you surmount them. For example, Escom electricity is not reliable for live football production. Throughout the years we have been beaming live games, we have never used Escom electricity. We always use generators. That’s the standard procedure because if you rely on Escom electricity and there is a blackout, it may indeed take up to 15 or 20 minutes to reboot,” he said.
Sulom invited bids from local television stations on April 7287 asking interested media organisations for exclusive broadcasting rights for 240 Super League games per season.
Matindi TV bid was at a price of K37.5 million, Beta TV bid price was K266 million while Times TV bid price was K149.3 million. Zodiak missed the April 16 deadline while MBC TV did not express interest. n