Last Updated
Friday 21 November 2014, 15:04 pm.
SuperSport airs local games on trial basis

South Africa's giant subscription television channel, SuperSport, looks set to dummy run some of the be MOBILE Premier League second round matches before making a long-term commitment.
By Staff Writer Mon 24 Nov 2014, 11:02 am (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: SuperSport airs local games on trial basis








According to Botswana Premier League (BPL) chief executive officer (CEO), Bernard Mamelodi, SuperSport had earlier made a commitment, but had to pull out because of the RP Productions saga."We could have started broadcasting earlier. We had reached an agreement (with SuperSport), but were disrupted by RPP process, that made them fall back and they said 'sort out your issues and tell us when done'," Mamelodi told Mmegi Sport.

He added: "Chances are that they will come and test the waters and see if it goes smoothly before a possible deal can be finalised going forward."He, however, admits the RPP saga will have to be put to bed before any broadcaster can commit long term.

"Until that element is satisfied beyond any reasonable doubt it will be difficult for people to commit long term. But we believe we have done everything as stipulated by the contract to conclude the matter and terminate the (RPP) deal. But nothing stops anybody from coming and making noise and nobody will go to bed with us until they are convinced everything is dead and buried," he said.

SuperSport broadcasts African leagues including Uganda, Kenya and Zambia on their SuperSport 9 channel on DSTV.The leagues have had to make adjustments in terms of fixtures with Zambia playing midweek games to meet their four-game monthly broadcast allocation.

And Mamelodi said they had already made some modifications."If you take a look at the second round fixtures which have approved by the board of governors we have a lot of midweek games."He said there will be games at suitable venues and days to suit the broadcaster.

The league is already hard-pressed by the fact that no games have been broadcast so far this season, a breach of their contractual agreement with the sponsor, be MOBILE.It remains unclear whether national broadcaster Botswana Television (Btv) will be able to screen games when SuperSport comes on board.

Btv had a deal with RPP and would have to clear that before committing to another partner.Mamelodi is aware Btv has a mass appeal beneficial to be MOBILE as locals can access it and said they would strike a balance to meet the sponsor's needs.

"Over and above, the league is driven by revenue, you need to get the best possible deal for the clubs because they need to sustain themselves as they push towards professionalism, they need to be able to pay their overheads and their employees.

Critical to everything, we have obligations to the sponsors, games have to be televised," he added.He rued failure to screen games this season, conceding it was unfair to the sponsor.SuperSport are out to capture the African market with indications being that the English Premiership is becoming increasingly expensive for them.

'Supersport's Head of Acquistions and Legal, Brandon Foot said: "Botswana is important to our Group and this (long term deal) is a possibility in the future. A pre-requisite for possibly concluding an agreement would be the resolution of any existing legal disputes. "Although international content is popular with our subscribers, local African leagues play an important role and are attractive."

 



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