The match between Nyasa Big Bullets and Mzuzu Warriors played yesterday at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre will go down in history as the first ever TNM Super League tie to be beamed live on newly-established Mpira Television.
The Football Association of Malawi (FAM) owned pay television which is on Kiliye Kiliye’s channel 122, switched its signal last week and it is expected to continue the test viewing until it is officially launched.
With spectators barred from stadiums due to Covid-19 restrictions, fans were able to enjoy the match on television in the comfort of their homes.
Super League of Malawi (Sulom) president Tiya Somba Banda said the beaming of the match on Mpira TV is a milestone in Malawi football.
He said: “It’s quite a milestone to have the games on our own channel. Some quarters had doubts about the project, but here we are now.
“This is the first step. We are still testing and tightening up the nitty-gritties. We will run another test on Monday and from that review, we should be good to go.
“As we are playing without fans in the stadium we urge soccer loving population out there to subscribe to Kiliye Kiliye so that they shouldn’t miss the Super League action.”
The television also broadcast Flames’ 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Uganda on Monday which Malawi won 1-0 to reach the finals.
FAM marketing director Limbani Matola said the channel will strive to provide predictable content for its viewers.
He said: For a long time viewers have been kept guessing on what they will watch on television.
“Mpira wants to bring predictable content through its consistent schedule.”
Matola also invited the corporate world to utilise the channel to sell their brands.
“To those that doubted how to expose their brand during matches since supporters are not allowed at stadiums, Mpira is the answer.
“Millions will be watching the channel unlike at the stadium.”
Soccer analyst Kelvin Moyo however, advised FAM to engage private partners if the channel is to realise its full potential.
“FAM and Sulom need to attract private players if it wants the channel to be successful,” he said.
Gabriel Potani, a Chilomoni-based football fan in Blantyre welcomed the channel.
“Since we will not be allowed to go to the stadium to watch the matches, at least the channel offers us an opportunity to follow the action on television,” he said.
FAM and Malawi Digital Broadcast Network Limited (MDBNL) last month signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the establishment of football dedicated television channel.
MDBNL chief executive officer Dennis Chirwa, speaking during the signing of MoU promised to provide a high quality signal.
MDBNL is a public entity mandated to provide signal distribution services to all licensed content providers (broadcasters).
It was registered under Companies Act on 20th February, 2014 but officially started its operations on 1st July, 2015.
Kiliye Kiliye has 18 TV channels, 10 radio channels and 25 000 subscribers. Its signal covers about 65 percent of the country.
FAM has engaged Mibawa Television and MBC to produce content.