Beta Television on right path towards Malawian football commercialisation

Beta Television started its excusive live broadcast of the TNM Super League in earnest in one of the moves by football administrators to turn Malawian into more professional.Duncan Logo

And it could not have come on a better weekend but when four of the country’s best teams — Mighty Wanderers, Blue Eagles, Big Bullets and Silver Strikers — dated each other at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre.

What created more hype for these two matches was the fact that it was going to be beamed live on Beta Television and that it was also like deciders on what would be the landscape of the rest of the title race.

Ahead of the matches, Silver Strikers were at the top with 26 points 12 games, Blue Eagles were third with 25 from 12 games while Wanderers were 7th with 20 points from 11 games and Bullets on 9th with 19 points from 11 games.

Kamuzu Stadium was filled for the first match and those at home sat back to watch the live coverage on Beta Television. Blue Eagles took the lead through Maxwell Salambula but Jaffali Chande equalised in the 63rd only to concede later from the penalty spot through Gilbert Chirwa.

Eagles have gone back to Lilongwe with full points and displaced Mafco on second position.

Silver had an advantage that they beat rookies and points-givers Max Bullets 3-0 on Saturday and they took the game to the Bullets by scoring first but the Bullets came from behind to win 2-1 and move three steps up — from position nine to 6th — while Silver maintained their lead at the top with 29 points.

This is how the live coverage will be by featuring games that have much bearing on the log table’s movements at the top in order to create more hype for fans to patronise the games at the venues as well as take a break from watching the English Premiership and bet their money on the local football.

What will also be of essence is what the players will be required to do and that is to always gather at the centre of the pitch and shake each others’ hands — win or lose — as a show of solidarity and sportsmanship. This is to be done before the teams would applaud their supporters for cheering them on.

The first live transmission on Saturday had some hiccups but come the following day, several of the shortfalls were rectified in time and fans back in their homes enjoyed excellent picture feed.

Beta’s Managing Director Maneno Mtawali, while acknowledging the teething problems in the first live beaming, assures the fans of better coverage for the rest of the season.

This is now the chance for Malawians football to become real professional and move from its amateur status with the coming in of the live coverage which is going to attract more stakeholders in the business.

Malawian football business has over the recent years worked towards been administered on a professional level to make it more rewarding. Clubs will be rewarded well for their participation in this television venture and this in turn will help them become more professional.

Like I have said it before, football is a serious business out there and the corporate world scrambles to be part of it because of broadcasting rights.

Most of the sponsorship in our football is considered as a social responsibility on the part of the sponsors and they pull out as they see fit and leave the sport destitute.

But this will something of the past with the coming in of the live television broadcast because once a sponsor decides to pull out, another shall be waiting in the wings to take over.

Gone are the days when you still find fixed advertising billboards of a sponsor at football venues who had long severed their support to the game but still enjoy the exposure because for every game, there shall be new sponsors will to have their advertising apparel displayed around the pitch.

Once we have excellent footage of our football action, it will be easier for football agents to follow up on the players they are interested in. And those footage will also help the club’s technical panel to review where they went wrong.

Beta TV will now be selling Malawian football on the international level through coverage of our top flight football league.

I have said it before, the next step now is for the powers that be to renovate the stadia so that they should march the glamour which Beta shall bring.

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