The country’s football fraternity can now afford a smile following Football Association of Malawi (Fam)’s announcement that the much anticipated pay TV football channel deal will now see the light of day.
Fam President Walter Nyamilandu and his Super League of Malawi counterpart Tiya Somba-Banda had promised to provide a platform for Malawians to watch local football on pay TV before the end of the year.
Commercial director at the country’s football governing body Limbani Matola claimed that they had struck a deal with the government.
“This is a done deal. The launch is only awaiting government approval. All gray areas have been sorted out and we are good to go. The government has given us the approval and we are pleased to announce that the launch will take place soon.
“Processes have been concluded and we have a seal of approval to find a content transmitter who is Malawi Digital Broadcasting Network [MDBN]. We have also finalised procurement of a host content producer who will be responsible for beaming of football matches on the pay TV channel. These are our technical partners. We are only waiting for the government to approve the date of the launch,” Matola said.
However, MDBN Director of Marketing John Mchilikizo, while confirming that some strides had been made, declined to give more details.
“All I can say is that we have finalised what we promised Fam. Provision of a network platform and setting up of the channel has been done. We are now testing the network to see if it satisfies requirements of all stakeholders,” Mchilikizo said.
Ministry of Youth and Sports spokesperson Symon Mbvundula also said progress had been made.
“I can confirm that talks between Fam and MDBN have reached advanced stages. They wrote to inform about us how far they have gone and, as government, we are satisfied with what is happening. We have written them back and I can assure you that we are on the right track,” Mbvundula said.
Information Minister Gospel Kazako asked for more time to solicit information on the matter.
Peter Fote is a Sports Journalist with huge experience in radio and Television reporting, production and presentation. He once worked with Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) and is currently working for Times Media Group.