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BTV could lose CAF broadcast rights

Publishing Date : 30 April, 2018


State broadcaster, Botswana Television (BTV) may not beam Township Rollers Confederation of African Football (CAF) Champions League last 16 games following the appointment of former Botswana Premier League (BPL) Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Bennet Mamelodi as an agent for  CAF’s official broadcast rights owner Lagardere Sports in Botswana.

Mamelodi who was unceremoniously relieved of his duties as the CEO of BPL by the Botswana Football Association (BFA) is expected to negotiate a better package for Township Rollers. Sources say, with his strong connections with one of Africa’s leading broadcasters, Supersport, he is on the verge of closing a lucrative deal with the Naspers’ owned television for Mapalastina.

The Jagdish Shah funded Township Rollers is clearly in the business of making money, and any better offer will bury Btv chances. Pundits are adamant that Mamelodi’s involvement automatically spells doom on the potential of BTV beaming the champions’ league games live. With negotiations still ongoing and the concerned parties careful not to let the lid out yet, the international broadcaster is expected to pump millions into Township Rollers whose brand continues to hypnotize the African continent.

Township Rollers is ranked among the top ten in African teams digital brand awareness. Moreover, the team managed to eliminate one of Africa’s feared giants, EL Meriekh and Young Africans in the continental club showpiece. Now the team will face the likes of Al Ahly and Esperance in the quest for African glory. All these factors have made Township Rollers a household name hence attractive to commercial broadcasters.

The deal, apart from Mamelodi being the kingpin, is also catalyzed by the business minded team president, Jagdish Shah. This in turn means BTV will have to buy feed from Supersport or any other company that could be roped in as broadcaster for the games. Reports suggest that Mamelodi has been spotted more than twice at Lekidi Centre in what sources say was the final touches (on the broadcasting matter) with the mother body.

It is understood that upon alerting the BFA of his new role as an agent, the association demanded further supporting documents from him. “He did tell us about that and we want to follow procedure hence we told him to bring supporting documents of which he did. For now we are only awaiting confirmation from CAF as to which station will broadcast the games,” said the BFA CEO Mfolo Mfolo.

However, while this would be seen as a move in the right direction for Township Rollers especially from a commercial perspective, multitudes of football lovers who don’t have access to pay TV could be left in the lurch at the most historic hour of local football. Township Rollers will next week Friday host Kampala City before preparing to face Egyptian side, Al Ahly in July. It is the first time a local team makes it to the last 16 of the CAF games.



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