Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has hailed Mibawa Television after Fifa engaged the station as the official broadcaster of the Malawi and Botswana World Cup qualifier second leg match on Tuesday at Kamuzu Stadium.
FAM commercial and marketing director Limbani Matola said the association is not surprised as Mibawa worked hard to invest in live football match broadcast.
“Matola said: “First of all this is a very good song to our ears; That long at last a local TV media house can be recognised and appointed by Fifa agents to produce and broadcast a Fifa sanctioned international football match is worth our applause.
“What has been happening all along was that such matches were being produced by international media houses for Malawi media was rated as lacking basic capacity and competency to meet international standards.”
He said the quality has been consistent and satisfactory which will give them a window of opportunity to get lucrative deals.
“We would like to believe that this recognition is a springboard and a game changer as far as commercialisation of the game is concerned. TV rights elsewhere is the main cash cow of the game. And we can only celebrate that it’s now getting closer home said Matola.
Sports marketing analyst Kevin Moyo also applauded the deal, saying it is a step towards commercialisation of broadcasting rights.
He said: “Broadcasting rights constitute a larger chunk of revenue made in football.
“As for Mibawa, it’s a step in the right direction as big television firms such as SuperSport can sub-lease them with a territory to broadcast and enhance broadcasting industry locally.”
During a press briefing
Mibawa Television chief executive officer John Nthakomwa said the development is a dream come true and has proved that they have come of age.
“Fifa has recognised the efforts of Mibawa Studios and has directly engaged us to be the production company for this match. It is a great achievement for us and it has given us great pride,” he said
“Fifa’s approval qualifications are stringent and Mibawa Studios managed to meet those qualifications.”
Asked about the details of the deal, Nthakomwa, however, was not open to disclose.
“We will do it for Fifa and it’s up to them to give the feed to interested media houses. What is important is for us to broadcast the game to their expectation so that they should continue engaging us,” he said.
Nthakomwa, who was accompanied by director of programmes Wellington Kuntaja and football comentator Peter Fote, also said the station has produced 22 local and international matches in the past two years at a loss.