Uncertainty surrounds the beaming of TNM Super League matches on Mpira TV after clubs demanded the television channel’s signal encryption.
Last week, the channel failed to beam Super League matches, including the Blantyre Derby between Nyasa Big Bullets and Be Forward Wanderers after clubs insisted they cannot allow their games to be beamed for free.
Mpira TV has been beaming the matches on free-to-air since March when the channel started testing its signal and the owners wanted to continue beaming the matches for free.
This did not go down well with Super League clubs who feel the television channel’s owners, Football Association of Malawi (FAM), were renegading on their promise to encrypt the channel.
Nyasa Big Bullets chief administration officer Albert Chigoga said Mpira TV owners need to address the clubs’ concerns.
He said: “So far we are not impressed, but I understand they are working towards rectifying some grey areas to improve execution of the whole thing. Once this is done, we will be at least happy.”
However, Sulom president Tiya Somba Banda, who is also a member of the Mpira TV task force, yesterday said they will sort out the issues.
“The matches will be back on Mpira TV on Saturday and the channel will be encrypted,” he said.
Six games have been lined up for this weekend in the TNM Super League week 14.
Tomorrow, Silver Strikers and Nyasa Big Bullets clash at Silver Stadium while Kamuzu Barracks take on Mafco FC at Civo Stadium in Lilongwe.
Blue Eagles host Ekwendeni Hammers at Nankhaka while Be Forward Wanderers will face Red Lions at Kamuzu Stadium.
Two matches are on the menu on Sunday with Civil Service FC taking on Ekwendeni Hammers at Civo Stadium while Moyale Barracks will host Karonga United at Mzuzu Stadium.
However, Somba Banda could not say which matches will be beamed on the channel.
But, so far, only Blantyre matches have been beamed on the channel which engaged Mibawa Television and MBC as content producers.
Meanwhile, soccer analyst Kelvin Moyo observed that Mpira TV might face challenges if Sulom and FAM take a big role in the running of the channel.
“FAM and Sulom should employ experts to run the television channel. They cannot be football administrators and at the same time run a television channel. They need to leave the television channel to media experts,” he said.
Mpira TV was established to enable football fans to watch matches following public gatherings restrictions due to Covid-19, which resulted in banning of supporters at stadia.