The Botswana Football Association (BFA) eagerly awaits the end of the cashless broadcast deal entered into by the Botswana Premier League (BPL) and the Department of Broadcasting Services (DBS).
The deal was negotiated by the former BPL Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Bennett Mamelodi and signed off by former BFA president Tebogo Sebego.
Current BFA CEO Mfolo Mfolo grilled the cashless matrimony claiming it had escalated club woes in local football.
The five-year contract is allegedly fingered for some major sponsorship standoffs and clubs’ financial blows that led to prize money and grants predicament this season.
While lack of adherence was one of the key elements in the said “breach of contract” due to minimal televised matches, the two seasons cashless deal has also affected BPL and club’s income.
The cashless deal, which comes to a conclusion at the end of the season, is allegedly said to have played a major role in the decision by league title sponsors Botswana Telecommunications Corporations (BTC) to cut sponsorship. The league sponsors had complained of ‘breach of contract’ by the BPL as a reason for the decision to withhold some of the sponsorship.
This follows the agreed 60 televised games per season that we never beamed. For the past three seasons, 131 games were beamed by the local broadcaster while expectations were that 180 matches were supposed to have been televised.
In this case, sponsors BTC felt betrayed by the agreed terms that were never met. With the first few seasons popping out funds that assisted in the BPL administration and clubs benefiting certain percentage, clubs have since suffered from the recent cashless outcome of the last two seasons.
While efforts by the BFA to renegotiate the deal in 2017 went futile, close sources have revealed to Sunday Standard that while South African broadcasting company Supersport was willing to come on board as broadcasting partners of premier league games a few seasons ago, the contract allegedly barred other broadcasters to televise premier league matches.
‘’Supersport was willing to bring something into the game but the challenge has always been the contract signed in 2012. The BFA top brass can’t wait for the current contract to elapse at the end of the season and negotiations with the South African broadcaster is expected to commence soon and expectations are that they will inject reasonable funds into the local game,’’ a source revealed to Sunday Standard.
The BFA CEO Mfolo Mfolo said they are in the process of negotiating a better deal with the television partners. He said the cashless deal has dealt a heavy blow to the football fraternity and should have never happened.
“This has been one of the creepiest decisions to have been made in local football. The predicament has cost a lot of financial decisions on the clubs and premier league budget and these cashless deals must be avoided as is something that is unheard of in football,” Mfolo told The Sunday Standard.
Efforts to reach DBS went futile as Btv Edson Malebane said “we are not ready to comment on the matter at the moment”.