African Union for Broadcasting (AUB) has reportedly suspended the Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) TV from broadcasting the 2014 World Cup for failure to pay $10 000 (about K3.8 million) affiliation fee.
The unionâ€™s chief executive officer Lawrence Atiase raised the MBC issue with Information Minister Moses Kunkuyu in Beijing on the sidelines of China-Africa Media Cooperation Forum held from August 22-28.
Kunkuyuâ€™s personal assistant Jonah Pankuku confirmed the development on Thursday, but MBC director general Dr Benson Tembo said he had no idea about the suspension.
â€œHe said after MBC failed to pay the fee, the union allowed MBC to broadcast the 2010 World Cup matches on trust that they would pay. The union eventually sent a consultant who met the former DG [Bright Malopa]. According to him, MBC is suspended from beaming the 2014 World Cup and it has to pay an additional fee of over $15 000,â€ said Pankuku.
Malopa was not available for comment whereas Tembo said he was also not aware of his institutionâ€™s arrangement with the union.
â€œAre we members to the union? I have no idea. All I know is that we have many issues emanating from careless handling of contracts before, which is culminating into a lot of debts and we are trying our best to get out of the situation,â€ Tembo said on Thursday.
FAM chief executive officer Suzgo Nyirenda said he had no idea about MBCâ€™s allegiance to the union, adding that Fifa entrusted all television marketing rights to continental federations such as CAF, which will handle those for Africa through its agent, SportFive.
Qualifying for the forthcoming World Cup finals in Brazil is one of FAM president Walter Nyamilandu campaign promises. Most Malawians depend on the public broadcaster for international games.