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BFA, Btv renew ties

71 games will be televised

With efforts of commercialising the domestic game gaining traction, Botswana Premier League and state owned public broadcaster, Botswana television or Btv have stretched further their marriage of convenience for five years, WeekendSport has established.


The agreement would see Botswana Television (BTV) broadcasting be Mobile Premiership matches for five years. The duo signed the deal in Gaborone last week Wednesday.


The two parties are reported to have re-established themselves as well as bonafide partners as the new season commences. Hard-nose dealings from both parties is reported to be a thing of the past as Btv has taken a massive leap of faith in agreeing to pen an expanded contract for the first time since the two started working together.


Informants talking with this publication revealed that the five year deal has been agreed where Btv will pay 8 million pula per season to beam the premier league games. According to the signed and sealed contract, a total of 71 games will be broadcasted scheduled during both for midweek and weekends times-the number goes to include the Mascom top 8 games.


The deal comes at the right time and is envisaged as a step in the right direction, the expired contract saw Btv pay 5 million per season to beam local content. With the new and improved deal, even league sponsors be MOBILE, who have for a long time demanded that at least 60 games be aired, will be met with untamed joy.


Both parties, who are now reported to be as close as peas in a pod, have agreed to use 8 or more cameras per game. “It is now an open secret that Btv has bought quality cameras, all they need to do is to employ able minds to employ effects such as those of slow motion,” a source revealed.


It is also reported that the Btv operational body is contemplating mounting a touch screen to craft half time and full time match analysis. This is the scenario currently with world class broadcast channels such as Supersport.


However, no one from either side is willing to talk to the media regarding the new deal until after an announcement is publicly made.

The Supersport channel has had some footprint in the Botswana premier league and once aired the local content before agreeing on a ‘cashless’ deal with the then troubled league.  The agreement would ruffle a few feathers and as expected, a harsh back lash came from the headline sponsors, be MOBILE.


However, it is clear the two long standing partners have repaired their once broken affair, as each left the negotiating table high in spirit. According to highly placed sources, it became an easy exercise to invoke the clause of the lapsed contract where an option to renew was always in the cards. They had initially penned a two year deal with an option to renew for the third year.


Btv has always been there for the premier league. Their mandate to promote local content was never abandoned even when calls from different quarters were made for the league to partner with Supersport were made. They stood their ground and even when the Supersport deal became a pie in the sky, fingers of blame were pointed at them.


However, the bitter chapter is closed and the state owned television emerges the messiah. With the new and improved deal, the stakes are higher and the premier league teams will benefit more. However, Btv could have opted to increase the broadcasting amount on a yearly basis to gauge improvement- a complaint that however has not changed the minds of influential players from both sides.


BOPA quoted the Deputy Permanent Secretary responsible for information and broadcasting services, Mogomotsi Kaboeamodimo, as saying broadcasting matches would help grow Botswana football; while the BFA president, Tebogo Sebego said the association was satisfied with terms of the agreement.


“It was important to conclude this agreement so that Batswana could watch premier league matches from their national television station,” he said.


The league’s chief executive officer, Bennett Mamelodi said the agreement entitled BTV to broadcast 71 live games every season. The station would also air Mascom Top Eight matches.


For the 2015/16 season, he said, BTV would pay P8 million as broadcast rights.


The previous contract was worth P5 million per season. He said the income from broadcast rights would assist in improving clubs’ revenue streams.

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