Domestic football giants Nyasa Big Bullets and Be Forward Wanderers have differed on their expectations from the television rights deal to beam TNM Super League matches which Sulom has awarded to Beta TV at K266 million (about $387 000) per season for the next three years.
Bullets acting general secretary Kelvin Moyo on Tuesday told The Nation that they expect the shares to be proportional to each team’s brand popularity, but on the other hand, the Nomads GS Mike Butao feels each team should have an equal share.
Said Moyo: “We feel as a team we always attract more advertisers compared to other teams. What will be our take as a brand? What is our share at the commencement of the season and what will be our share through commercials at the end of the season? Because other teams cannot be compared to Bullets in terms of value for commercials whether it is billboards or airtime commercials.”
He also said they would have loved if the bid price was in US dollars.
“Our concern is the value of the deal going forward as the kwacha may lose value in the coming years. It would have been better if it was pegged in dollars.”
However, on his part Butao said: “Obviously, this is great news. It helps the clubs financially to a certain extent. I urge the big clubs such as ourselves, not to be greedy and opt for an equal share of the proceeds with the other clubs.
“What I expect Sulom to do now is announce how and when the clubs will benefit from these proceeds in terms of percentages and timelines. I also expect Sulom to disburse to the clubs all proceeds from broadcasting rights prior to this agreement so that everything is seen to be transparent.”
But Sulom general secretary Williams Banda said the sharing of the proceeds from broadcasting rights would be announced after consultations with all stakeholders.
“It’s too early to start speculating on that. There is need for the stakeholders to come up with a criteria which we will also announce once everything is finalised,” he said.
Banda added that the two parties will first sign a contract before the beaming of the games starts.
“We are pleased to notify all the stakeholders and the public that the exclusive rights have been offered to Beta Television Station at a total sum of K266 million per season as stipulated in their bid proposal,” Sulom’s press release signed by Banda reads in part.
Banda said the coming in of Beta TV to beam Super League games was a major step towards commercialising the league.
“Anywhere you go, leagues and clubs make a fortune from broadcasting rights. The coming of Beta TV will go a long way in making sure our teams and eventually, our players, benefit from the proceeds,” he said.
Meanwhile, Beta TV says it is ready to roll out beaming of the games.
The station’s managing director Maneno Mtawali said they already have an action plan in place.
“We are pretty much behind since the season already kicked off. We need to roll out as soon as possible so that fans start watching the games on television,” he said.
Mtawali was confident that they will bring high quality production for football fans saying that the television station has the capacity to do so.
“I think Sulom inspection team saw our capacity and that is why they decided to award us the exclusive rights,” he said.
“For your information, we were involved in the beaming of the Malawi national football team’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Guinea and the quality of the production was very good. That is what people should expect.”
Sulom invited the bids on April 7 asking interested media organisations for exclusive broadcasting rights for 240 Super League games per season for a period of three years.
At the close of the bids on April 21, three media houses—Matindi Television (MTV), Beta Television Station (Beta TV) and Times Television—submitted bids.n