TV rights deal – a game-changer

01Jun 2021
Lloyd Elipokea
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
TV rights deal – a game-changer

RECENTLY, domestic football underwent a bona fide sea change that was positive for the better.

Azam Media Limited's Managing Director, Tido Mhando (seating L), and Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) president, Wallace Karia, sign a contract for Mainland Premier League's television rights worth 225.6bn/- in Dar es Salaam last week, which will see the company gain the top flight broadcasting rights for 10 years.PHOTO: CORRESPONDENT JUMANNE JUMA

In what was a landmark and historic deal, Azam Media Limited inked a whopping 225.6 billion shillings television rights contract with the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) for the next ten years.

Indeed, the deal is a win-win for all the central actors involved and it can be fittingly described as a veritable game-changer.

For example, the funds will ensure that top-flight clubs will be able to finance their operations each season, and consequently, this will partly reduce their reliance on sponsorships.

The fine details of the deal also reveal that each club will be earning a cool amount each month which is between 40 million shillings and 50 million shillings.

Compared to the slim pickings that cash-strapped clubs were used to earning in the past, their forthcoming and massively bumped-up revenue undoubtedly seems like quite a princely sum.

Indeed, this game-changing deal also means that all clubs, particularly those that are traditionally regarded as the small fry of the top tier domestic league, will be able to jostle for honors more competitively and as a result, this can only enhance the inimitable spectacle that is the Mainland Premier League.

Hopefully then, in the seasons to come, more minnows in the league will be able to mount astonishingly impeccable campaigns reminiscent of the then lowly Mbeya City, who a couple of seasons ago, slackened many a jaw with their giant-killing displays that saw them finish unforgettably in the ‘top four’ at the end of the season.

Moving on, as I once opined in an earlier piece on these pages, the newly elected president of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), the deep-pocketed South African entrepreneur, Patrice Motsepe, recently made the bold declaration that it is one of his aims to see an African team one day clinch the coveted football World Cup in the men’s game.

In that earlier commentary here on The Guardian back pages, I gently admonished the CAF president to remember that no men’s African team has as yet advanced to the semi-finals of the men’s World Cup, which is a sobering reminder of that popular saying which goes ‘one must be able to walk before they can run.'

However, today I’m changing tack to highlight the plight of women’s football on the continent.

Indeed, I feel duty-bound to point out to the newly installed CAF leadership as a whole not to forget about the noble cause of women’s football on the continent, which has long been shamefully neglected.

Indeed, to date, no African women’s team has ever qualified for the latter stages of the prestigious Women’s World Cup.

In addition, women football players on the continent are still cut a morale-draining raw deal where remuneration and league sponsorship is concerned in stark contrast to the men’s game.

Aside from the aforementioned drawbacks, the women’s game on the continent still crucially lacks requisite levels of promotion, which seriously curtails its growth.

Still, as the saying goes ‘hope springs eternal so fingers crossed that as time unfolds, women’s football will justly get the attention it has long deserved.

Top Stories