2 July 2018

Botswana: National First Division in Windfall

Gaborone — A broadcast rights deal between the Botswana Football Association (BFA) and local television production company, Baboneng Film Productions, is set to give the national first division league financial boost.

This was revealed during the launch of the P9 million deal in Gaborone recently.

The deal, due to effect from the 2018/19 until the 2022/23 season, will see the first division deriving P1.5 million per year for two seasons, then a further P2 million for each of the following three seasons.

Through the deal, first division games will be broadcast live on Maru TV and on radio through Duma FM, which is set to bring greater exposure to the second tier of domestic football.

A South African outside broadcast company, Alfacam, which has experience in broadcasting live sports events, has been outsourced by Baboneng to assist with technical aspects of the production.

Giving the keynote address, Assistant Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development, Phillip Makgalemele described the deal as great opportunity for the first division, which he said had played a big role in the national sport.

"We should not forget the important role of first division football in our country, doing a great job of feeding our national team. The Botswana first division is made up of the North and South leagues, each having 12 clubs competing in the league. Each team has more than 11 players on the field ant any times, and there are more than 264 football players with each club having its own management. The broadcast of these games, and the people that will be involved in this endeavour will create employment for our people," Makgalemele said.

He added that television was a powerful medium, which had heightened the commercial value of football globally, and could be used to achieve a similar objective in the country.

Assistant Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry, Moiseraele Goya added that with an experienced South African broadcast company involved, his ministry hoped to see skills transfer to locals who would be empowered to better handle television production in future.

"What is being done dovetails with what we are doing at the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry as it avails economic opportunities for citizens in various aspects, such as in marketing and advertising. Those from outside can also come and scout around for talent, in the past we did not have enough TV broadcasts to market the natural talent this country had," Goya said.

BFA first vice president, Segolame Ramotlhwa said they run two national leagues, the commercially oriented first tier administered by the Botswana Premier League, and the first division, plus the regional development leagues, which feed the national leagues.

He said the endeavour was part of their plan to improve the commercial value of the national leagues, adding clubs would in turn derive financial benefit.

BFA second vice president, Marshlow Motlogelwa also added that they would support local companies to take advantage of such opportunities, which included outside broadcast and marketing.

He said gate takings had been the traditional source of funds, but such partnership with Baboneng could assist in increasing revenue streams.

Motlogelwa said Baboneng had TV and radio rights as well as print media rights, stadium branding rights, provided the first division title sponsor Debswana, remained the most visible brand Alfacam would do the outside broadcast and pledged to do skills transfer to locals.

Source : BOPA

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