MBC TV, Times Television (TTV) and Zodiak Television are tipped to be the only bidders for the TNM Super League games’ broadcasting rights as others channels have opted against entering the race.
Last month, Super League of Malawi (Sulom), the league’s runners, issued a tender calling for bidders to express interest to broadcast the matches on television, radio and digital platforms.
While the three TV stations confirmed their bids ahead of the submission deadline this Sunday, Mibawa and Rainbow television stations which also broadcast nationally, said they will not participate.
In an interview yesterday, Mibawa TV, which has experience in live football broadcasting, said it collected the bidding forms, but will not bid for the games.
Its managing director John Nthakomwa said they had proposed a different arrangement which Sulom did not buy.
He said: “We proposed a different arrangement. The market in Malawi for Malawian television stations that are free to air cannot sustain the model they are looking for.
“We need partnerships with a pay TV channel for football. Otherwise, only foreign companies will benefit from Malawian football as they have the capacity.”
Rainbow Television Station manager Aubrey Kusakala said they have opted against bidding because they fear they would not generate enough revenue to offset the production costs.
“Having analysed everything, we reached a conclusion that it would not be beneficial for us. The cost of covering matches live is too high compared to the generated revenue,” he said.
On his part, State-run MBC director of commercial services Frank Binauli confirmed they are planning to bid for the television rights.
“I can confirm we have collected the forms and we are working on the documents which we shall submit soon,” he said.
Zodiak Broadcasting Station director of programmes Joab Frank Chakhadza disclosed that they will bid for the rights.
“Our marketing team advised us to bid for the games. They believe it’s an opportunity to generate revenue. So, we are putting together a bid,” he said.
Times Group editor in chief George Kasakula also confirmed that they are bidding for the television rights, but referred us to the commercial manager Lusayo Msukwa who was not available for comment.
Sulom president Tiya Somba-Banda could not be drawn to comment on the matter, saying: “We will not issue any communication until the bidding process is completed.”
Last time, the league sold television rights was over three years ago. The now disbanded Beta TV won the bid, but could not pay Sulom the agreed K266 million fee, resulting in a legal battle.
Live football television coverage is viewed as the best way for clubs to generate revenue amid the Covid-19 pandemic which has seen games in other countries being played without spectators.