19 August 2011

Uganda: Live TV Boost for Soccer

If the glitz and glamour of SuperSports' entry into Ugandan football is anything to go by, then something special is about to unfold in the Bell Uganda Super League.

Various stakeholders were treated to a colourful launch of SuperSport's marriage with local soccer at the Serena Hotel on Thursday night.

The optimism was understandable everyone promised a better football product.

"We have come to make a difference. Welcome to the SuperSport family," SuperSport Africa chief Gary Rathbone told guests as the countdown to the September 9 kick-off started.

SuperSport's campaign to raise the bar, will have it dedicating an OB van to beef up coverage in east Africa by focusing on Uganda with a brand new state-of-the-art didgital set up with a minimum of 10 cameras at every match.

Rathbon promised that the package will include all technical elements necessary for a world class production.

The South African company recently sealed a $5m (sh13b) five year broadcasting rights deal with USL. Uganda's top sports competition was thereafter further boosted by a sh2.2bn naming rights deal with Uganda Breweries.

The Serena function, with Gaetano Kaggwa and Crystal Newman as emcees, was punctuated a sumptuous five course meal, some good music, super league club recordings and of course the constantly flowing wine and lager.

USL ltd chairman Kavuma Kabenge could not hide his pride. "Finally Ugandan football is attaining the recognition it deserves, it has been a dream for us to realize such potential."

He noted that the partnership would elevate the quality of Ugandan football by broadcasting globally on television. "For that we can not wait for the competitive spirit the clubs will display under such an incredible platform which is SuperSport."

Education and Sports State minister Charles Bakkabulindi promised government support. He said there are all grounds for the partnership to flourish.

"We not only have a countrywide physical education campaign, but also a program to build sports infrastructure."

Chairman Multichoice Uganda stressed that standards will not only be boosted on the field, but also in management. USL staff will therefore be trained both locally and internationally.

Uganda's league joins a SuperSport family that already consists of top soccer leagues in Nigeria, Ghana, Angola, South Africa, Kenya and Zambia.

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