There have been a lot of stories and excuses emanating from Beta Television’s failure to beam Super League games despite signing a three-year contract with Super League of Malawi (Sulom).
For some reason, some of us have been avoiding commenting on this issue, but enough is enough—the soccer fraternity should be told the truth.
After they won the bid at the expense of Times TV and Matindi TV, Beta TV management held a press conference together with Sulom officials at Wine House in Blantyre where they assured the nation that they were ready to roll out the project.
To the chagrin of the soccer fraternity, the firm has been struggling to beam Super League games citing rising costs as an excuse.
This week, we are being told that they have applied to have their licence changed to an encrypted channel so that it can make business sense.
Judging from the conduct of Beta management, it is coming out clearly that they ventured into this business without making a thorough market research in this biting economy.
All what the soccer fraternity wants is the game to be live on television. Period! We all know that there is a contract which was signed between the two parties and it is not being adhered to.
It is surprising that Sulom has been quiet and yet its affiliates such as Nyasa Big Bullets, Be Forward Wanderers and Silver Strikers, who are the biggest players in football finances, have been complaining that they have not received a penny and yet some of their games were beamed.
Sulom should not bury their heads in the sand and pretend that all is well when football supporters are being denied an opportunity to watch Super League games on television.
We have had enough of these explanations. I, therefore, suggest that a decision has to be made to either suspend the clause of exclusive rights to Beta or nullify the contract so that other players can start beaming the games at a fee like what Football Association of Malawi is doing.
Sulom should swallow its pride and admit that they are still on the learning curve in as far as TV rights are concerned. There is need for them to go back to the drawing board.
This is a crisis which could have been avoided with proper research and consultations.
It is an undisputable fact that there are some issues which Sulom overlooked when awarding this TV rights contract to Beta, possibly because they were novices in this television rights’ game.
They forgot that we needed better days for Malawi football.
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