Beta Television and Super League of Malawi (Sulom) yesterday sealed a K266 million exclusive broadcasting rights deal at H.S. Winehouse in Blantyre.
In his speech during the contract signing ceremony, also attended by sponsors TNM, Beta TV managing director Maneno Mtawali said the media house has a vision of transforming Malawi football.
He said: “Beta is pleased to be part of this historical moment. However, we are not here to brag about our capabilities and experience, but rather realising the challenge ahead.
“With the right equipment and expertise, we want to be there and see through Malawi football attaining greater heights. We have a vision and we hope we share it with Sulom and others to see Malawi football attain number 33 ranking on the Coca-Cola Fifa ranking.”
Mtawali also invited other media houses to partner with Beta TV.
“We cannot do this alone and we, therefore, urge all stakeholders, including the corporate world, media houses and even individuals to do the little they can to contribute to making Malawi football grow. We know football fans deserve better and we will work hard, inch by inch to satisfy their expectations,” he said.
Sulom president Innocent Bottoman said the signing of the contract was a milestone in Malawi football commercialisation.
“Today, we have come to the end of our rigorous process of scrutinising, identifying, negotiating, consulting procurement professionals even those outside football and selecting a suitable partner for live television production and broadcasting,” said Bottoman.
The Sulom boss said live broadcast of Super League games would help improve the standards of the sport.
“The investment into our league, the exposure of our talent and the visibility of our league through live television coverage, will enable us to reach levels of football that has not been reached in this country before. Television broadcasting comes with its benefits and international standards that will strengthen our discipline and professionalism to the game,” he said.
Bottoman said the selection process demonstrated Sulom’s maturity.
He said: “Sulom has demonstrated to be a serious, mature, transparent and accountable organisation focused on driving growth of Malawi football. When everyone else stood and laughed that an open tender system to choose a credible broadcaster was not possible, today we have proved a point.”
However, the Sulom boss said the biggest beneficiary will be clubs who will now enjoy revenue from television rights.
“Our clubs will become self-sustainable and focussed on improving football rather than wasting more time begging for upkeep. Today, Malawi football has been liberated. We can now stand tall shoulder to shoulder with the world’s best leagues as a league that is making baby steps to reach our potential,” said Bottoman.
Clubs will equally share 80 percent of the K266 million TV rights revenue which translates to K212 million while 20 percent (K53 million) will go to Sulom.
Fifty percent of the K212 million will be shared equally among the clubs whereas the other half will be shared according to the rankings on the log table and number of appearances on TV.
But the development has created debate among the clubs with Super League giants feeling they deserve more.
While Be Forward Wanderers team manager Steve Madeira was for equal sharing, Nyasa Big Bullets acting general secretary Kelvin Moyo insisted that they are a big brand, hence they need to have a bigger share.
The live broadcasts start this weekend with games involving Be Forward Wanderers and Blue Eagles on Saturday and Big Bullets against Silver Strikers on Sunday. n