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Sulom writes off Beta TV debts

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By Mabvuto Kambuwe:

Super League of Malawi (Sulom) has written off Beta Television’s debts amounting to K266 million which the station was supposed to pay for exclusive rights of the top-flight league dating back to 2017.

The development comes despite the matter being in court.

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Beta, which went off air last year, was the successful bidder of the broadcasting rights for the 2017 season but failed to pay up.

Of the K266 million, K212 million was supposed to be shared among the elite league’s clubs with the remainder going to Sulom.

But during the Super League governing body’s recent Annual General Meeting (AGM) at Kabumba Hotel in Salima District, delegates resolved to write off the debts.

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All the 16 Super League clubs were represented at the meeting.

Sulom’s newly elected president, Tiya Somba Banda, who was the body’s treasurer when the deal was sealed, confirmed the development in an interview Friday.

“It will not appear in our financial statements despite the matter being in court. The debts were written off on the basis that we do not see recovery in the foreseeable future,” Somba Banda said.

Be Forward Wanderers General Secretary, Mike Butao, said Sulom should exercise caution when handling such matters in future.

“We cried foul as clubs right from the day the deal was sealed because we were not directly involved. In this case, Sulom has inherited the debt and there should be negotiations with clubs so that we are paid through installments,” Butao said.

In February this year, Football Association of Malawi (Fam) courted media houses on how to maximise revenue from broadcast rights.

Fam has control of broadcast rights for all national teams and cup games.

Broadcast revenue is an emerging market in Malawi football as stakeholders are helping clubs to maximise on proceeds from their games.

Beta TV and Sulom sealed a three-year deal to broadcast all Super League matches but the deal flopped after the television station beamed just a few matches.

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