BR Highlanders and Miscellaneous do not command a large following and are not by any standards, Botswana's glamour clubs.
However, far away from their home fans in Mahalapye and Serowe, the two made history when they debuted on South African sports channel, Supersport.
There were lingering doubts about the authenticity of the league administrators' statements that the games will be live on Supersport, the respected South African broadcaster. But come 6pm on Friday, viewers were greeted by the unfamiliar site of the Molepolole Sports Complex on Supersport channel 209. Highlanders and Miscellaneous were the first beneficiaries of a deal that still has loose ends. The football was decent but the terraces reminded one of a deserted street on a Sunday. The empty stands were a sad predictability on an early evening when most people were still returning from work. Highlanders accepted their first live appearance on television by bagging their first set of full points of the season in a 1-0 win. Local football was to redeem its image on the terraces with a swelling crowd for the Gaborone United, Nico game and later the Township Rollers versus ECCO City Greens clash on Saturday.
Some decency was further restored when BDF XI and BMC clashed with Mochudi Centre Chiefs and Mogoditshane Fighters capping off a fine weekend with an entertaining tie. Besides the Highlanders shock result, Supersport viewers witnessed a David in Fighters slaying the giant Chiefs. It was a clinical display from Fighters who at one stage held a firm 3-0 advantage before conceding a very late goal which might haunt them in the second leg. The deluge of action on Supersport kept fans glued as they have been starved off action on tv since the beginning of the season. It was really manna from heaven for the fans at home, but not all watched the action due to Multichoice's subscription requirements.
If the Botswana Premier League ties the loose ends, it will be a major coup for a league that has battled to find an attractive broadcasting rights deal.
The picture was crystal clear and a local scribe (also former Satmos goalkeeper), Monnakgotla Mojaki rose to the occasion with his fine analysis. The trial run should have impressed the bosses at Multichoice, but finer details are still to be finalised including the financial benefits to both the broadcaster and the league. Supersport is looking to increase its footprints across the continent having already bagged rights to Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Zambia and Zimbabwe's top leagues.