Super League of Malawi (Sulom) has allowed broadcasters that have not yet completed paying debts from last season to get involved in the live broadcasting of matches in the 2020 TNM Super League.
Sulom president Tiya Somba Banda yesterday said they believe such broadcasters would be adhering to the latest payment plan on the old debt while committing to honour the new deal with upfront payments.
The Super League runners came up with the current setup to allow media houses game-by-game broadcasting of matches on television (TV) or radio after Beta TV failed to honour its obligation on a K266 million deal.
Said Somba Banda: “We have circulated to all broadcasters fixtures for the league’s first round along with the related broadcasting fees for each fixture. We believe this will help them plan ahead properly,” he said.
“We have engaged them for a payment plan on the old debt as well and we believe we will manage the situation accordingly.”
He, however, said upfront payment is an ideal position Sulom is striving for to achieve a win-win situation with the broadcasters.
“Some broadcasters are yet to finalise payments for last season and this is not strange. A normal business has receivables and payables at any point. What is key is to manage the position so that it should not compromise our operations,” Somba Banda said.
“Not all transactions are on cash basis in the business world. What is critical is a proper budget management process on our end so we can strike a win-win situation with the broadcasters, clubs and ourselves.”
But some Super League clubs have queried Sulom’s idea, saying it is just adding salt to the wound as it is not beneficial to the local clubs who, up to now, are yet to get Sulom’s report on broadcast rights revenue for last season.
Nyasa Big Bullets chief administration manager Albert Chigoga said: “Sulom should always strive to put the interests of clubs ahead of other stakeholders when it comes to broadcasting rights. Sadly, until now our club has not seen any report on revenue realised last year.”
Football analyst and marketing expert George Kaudza Masina said Sulom ought to have learnt a lesson from the previous defaulters as giving such broadcasters a second chance with a payment plan for the old debt is not enough.
“The defaulters were supposed to be barred completely until they pay their debts. Moreover, upfront payment is definitely going to bring sanity as long as Sulom keeps its word,” he said. “Suffice to say that Sulom leadership needs to come out in the open on the Beta TV issue. Otherwise, clubs are bound to speculate on what happened to their cuts.”