TNM Super League exclusive broadcasting rights holders Beta Television claim to have secured sponsors for the beaming of matches to be unveiled before the league kicks off this Saturday.
Beta Television station manager Theunis Bester made the revelation yesterday when responding to questions on the station’s capability of beaming games after a wobbly first season of their three-year contract.
He said: “If all goes well, we will be making a very big announcement on a major broadcast sponsorship deal very shortly, hopefully even before the start of the season.
“The identity of the sponsors is still confidential for now, but we will probably conclude today [Wednesday] or tomorrow [Thursday], then we will make a public announcement.”
Bester said the coming in of a sponsor will help in solving last season’s hitches when the station was able to beam only a few matches played in Blantyre.
The station also failed to pay Super League of Malawi (Sulom) K40 million of which K32 million is to be shared by clubs.
A new agreement reached between Beta TV, Sulom and clubs last month will see the television station paying instalments of last year’s outstanding revenue, starting soon after the season kicks off.
“There are still one or two unresolved issues, but certainly a major sponsorship will help clear that up as well,” said Bester.
According to the agreement between Sulom and Beta, 60 percent of the sponsorship will go to Sulom and clubs.
Sulom treasurer Tiya Somba-Banda described the coming in of a sponsor as a milestone.
“It’s wonderful indeed,” he said. “Let’s keep our fingers crossed for the good of the game.”
Plans are also underway to introduce a second channel to beam Super League matches, according to Bester.
“We are busy with final preparations. Our plan is to shoot two matches in Blantyre and two in Lilongwe, but the Lilongwe matches may not necessarily be live for now, we are looking to get another channel to partner with us that we can do all the games live, as they are [played] at the same times, but we will see how this develops in the next few days,” said Bester.
“Basically, we will partner another television station to beam the other two matches per week.”
However, some clubs are skeptical on the development.
“It’s easy to say anything, but fulfilling it is not a joke. We will wait and see if at all that has been said will be fulfilled,” said newly-promoted side Chitipa United chairperson Roger Kamodzi.
Analyst Charles Nyirenda also warned of more unfulfilled promises from Beta TV.
“After what happened last season, some of these things are too good to believe. Anyway, let’s wait and see,” he said. n