Botswana Television (BTV)’s P6 million bid to earn the local premier league’s television rights look certain to have trumped Supersport’s chances of winning the bid. A meeting between the Botswana Football Association (BFA) and the Botswana Premier League (BPL) was held during the past weekend to put the issue to rest.
This publication is reliably informed that both parties agreed to award the TV rights to BTV because of the financial benefits that will result from the deal; clubs will be awarded P200 000 each from the deal.
Gazette Sport understands that BTV’s proposal to televise up to 75 games will please the league’s main sponsor, beMobile, who had allegedly threatened to pull out of their contract with the BPL if the stipulated number of games agreed on their contract would not be televised.
When reached for comment the BFA president, Tebogo Sebego, told this reporter that the BPL and the BFA’s national executive committee reached a consensus during Saturday’s meeting. “The BFA and the BPL are on the same page, we are unified in how we want to proceed with the issue. Only one broadcaster will televise the games because we could not get them to work together,” said Sebego who remained cagey about the issue.
BPL CEO, Bennett Mamelodi confirmed that a resolution has been made but also refused to reveal the details of the weekend meeting. “I can confirm that both Supersport and BTV submitted attractive offers. A decision was made based on the interests of the 16 Premier League club but it is not my place to comment on the decision or make an announcement,” stated Mamelodi.
Reports have stated that Supersport would have stood a chance to win the rights if they had proposed a new deal which included financial rewards for the clubs.
Why the announcement is being delayed
A source has informed this publication that the broadcast deal decision has been delayed because both parties had hoped that Supersport would counter BTV’s P6 million offer. The announcement would have been made a fortnight ago but Supersport was given more time to prepare a better offer than their initial cashless deal offer.
“The reluctance of the BFA to officially announce BTV as the victors of the TV rights saga was done to give the South African broadcasters another chance to regroup and submit another formal offer this month. With Supersport showing no signs of doing so, the board meeting resulted in BTV being elected as the official broadcasters of the upcoming season’s league games. The official announcement of the BTV deal will be made next week and a draft of the official contract is being prepared but a meeting will be conducted between the BPL, BFA and BTV to finalise the deal,” said the source.
The beMobile Premier League season will kick off on September 14; this was confirmed by Mamelodi who also revealed that the approved fixtures will be released on Wednesday.