It’s now official. Finally, Malawi now has joined Zambia, Tanzania, RSA, Zimbabwe and Angola as countries which can produce high-quality 7-camera football broadcast production in sub-Sahara Africa.
Beta TV, a new Malawian owned television broadcaster has invested in an Outside Broadcasting (OB) Van to produce football coverage in Malawi.
“We are delighted to go into this venture. It is a big step in the right direction for Malawian football development insofar football television broadcasting is concerned. We have invested heavily into this venture to ensure that football lovers are given nothing but the best,” said Beta TV managing director Maneno Mtawali.
Paradoxically, it costs FAM a staggering $40,000 to pay Supersport via Sportfive now named Largedee Sport to produce one international match in Malawi.
FAM and CAF were forced to call upon Supersport OB vans due to the absence of this facility among the almost 20 TV stations that are operating in the country.
Both FAM and SULOM were non-committal to comment on the matter and kept a tight lid on the issue and were not willing to discuss the details of the deal when approached by Nyasa Times.
In February 2016, the FIFA marketing consultant Ian Riley inspected all TV stations in the country to ascertain the capacity to produce and broadcast football matches.
Nyasa Times understands that in his report to FAM, Riley recommended Beta TV among all other Tv stations to produce football matches. The other TV stations that were inspected include Times Tv, Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS) and MBC.
On Easter Monday this year, Nyasa Times further understands that renowned continental broadcasting giants, SABC, had its crew sent to Malawi to exclusively produce an international match between Malawi and Guinea.
According to reports, SABC crew called upon the Beta TV OB van to produce the match the following morning since this is the only facility present in the country.
Nyasa Times investigations reveal that OB van television investment costs over Euro 400,000 and is by far very exorbitant for local television stations that are already struggling with the high production costs to acquire.
Mtawali said in an interview with Nyasa Times that they have held discussions with both the country’s soccer governing body, Football Association of Malawi (FAM) and Super League Association of Malawi (SULOM) offering them the services of the Ob van to change the scope of football teams in Malawi.
“We have already held talks with FAM and SULOM and we have candidly offered our services to them and we are upbeat that given the opportunity we will give Malawians the best in as far as football coverage on TV is concerned. We have both the capacity and the drive to give nothing but the best,” said Mtawali.
In the deal, Nyasa Times has established that Beta TV has offered the Malawi football over K25 million for clubs and SULOM administration to produce 2016 football season matches and included in the deal is a profit-sharing arrangement with Malawi football in case the venture turns profitable every year for the next 3-5 years.
Theuns Bester, Beta TV, station manager said that the investment made is for the good of Malawi football development because instead of Malawi football paying the standard price of £40,000 per production, Beta TV will foot the cost and produce a high-quality picture with slow motions, repeats and on a 7 camera platform.
“Ideally, the Beta Tv broadcast production picture could be ideal for any broadcaster on any pay TV platforms including Supersport, Azam TV or Star times among others,” said Bester.
Bester added that any local television stations that want to broadcast the local matches produced by Beta TV will be more than welcome to contribute to the cost of production.
“Thousands of Malawians that love soccer but cannot make it, to watch the matches at the stadiums due to other factors will now have the opportunity to follow football from the comfort of their homes,” Bester said.
He explained that most companies in the country have all the reasons to smile with this new medium to carry brand messages to their target market and audiences.
Said Bester: “With the local broadcaster producing matches locally every week from the start of the league to finish, it is expected that club revenue will improve. Competition among teams is expected to also reach an unprecedented high as more money will be available to develop talent in their junior teams.”
This, Bester said, will make it easier for the Mozambican and South African leagues to assess Malawian players in the football market.
With this development, Beta TV officials say Malawian clubs will now attract foreign talent and boost the local league’s competition.
Perhaps, the most important question to ask though is if the administrators will allow our football to develop into a TV league and make as much money for the clubs through broadcasting rights.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :