South Africa outside broadcasting (OB) television firm, Dimension Television Facilities (DTF), has won the bid for the production of the home African Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier between Malawi’s Flames and Cameroon’s Indomitable Lions on October 16 at Kamuzu Stadium.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) general secretary Alfred Gunda said they opted for the South African company because local television production companies did not meet Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) requirements.
“The procedure is that the first priority goes to local OB television production companies. We gave them that chance,but unfortunately, none of them fulfilled the minimum requirements set by CAF.
“In such a case, CAF, through their agent Lagadere Sports, have to look for a television production company outside Malawi; hence, the coming in of Dimension Television,” he said.
Gunda said Malawi’s television firms’ failure to meet CAF requirements is a concern as they are losing out since CAF pays up to $50 000 (about K40 million).
“The K40 million is what CAF would pay the local company for the production of the match. But the local company can also sell the feed to other television stations within the country. So, as you can see, the benefits are just many,” said Gunda.
He called on local television stations to invest in football match production.
“It’s high time our television production companies realised the business potential in football matches production. Otherwise, we will continue to rely on foreign companies to do it for us. Of course, there are some local companies like Mibawa Television, who are trying their best, but it is not enough” he said.
Television and media expert Felix Ngamanya Sapao said CAF cannot risk using a local television company because of poor quality of production.
“CAF undertakes to ensure that a host federation and broadcaster of a match is done properly and the broadcast is up to standard. The current broadcast of live football matches being done by local television stations in Malawi is of very poor quality. No standards have been set by rights holders of football in Malawi to provide a product that can be watched internationally,” he said.
Sapao said not only local television production companies are losing out, but FAM is also affected since they are deducted a share of the television rights revenue for using a foreign production firm.
“As long as there is no television station or media house meeting CAF minimum standards, FAM will keep on losing as they are also deducted the hiring fees from their television rights revenue share from every home game,” he said.
Football matches production remains a challenge even in local matches.
Currently, the top-flight TNM Super League has no television production contract with a local company.
The last time Super League fo Malawi (Sulom) tried to engage Beta Television, but the deal collapsed after the television station failed to meet its contractual obligations. n