FA Malawi, MDBNL sign MoU for local football pay TV channel

Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has cemented its partnership with the Malawi Digital Broadcasting Network (MDBNL) after signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), a development that has been described as a crucial step towards rolling out a dedicated local Football Pay TV Channel.

Here it is : MoU

The signing ceremony, which was graced by various stakeholders, including super league team representatives, took place on Thursday in Blantyre with a call to football followers to support the cause by procuring kiliye Kiliye decoders.

According to MDBNL Chief Executive Officer Denis Chirwa, local football content will be aired on Kiliye Kiliye decoder on channel 122 and will go live once FAM finalizes technical procedures with content producers.

Chirwa claimed that MDBNL has a wider network covering almost all districts and that they will always provide technical expertise to the initiative.

“We know in some areas viewers hardly receive the pictures due to the network, but I can assure you that we are expanding the network so that no area should be left out.

“We want people in rural areas to be able to watch and follow local football on our network and we are ready to switch on the channel once FAM and its content producers provide them with the signal.

He then stressed that the Pay TV Channel will be number 122 and will have a capacity of up to 2 live games at a go.

“As a company, we will make sure that we show the right content as given to us by the producers and we will make sure that the viewers get what they deserve,” said Chirwa.

In his remarks, FAM Vice President Jabbar Alide said the channel will go a long way in guaranteeing local football sustainable revenue.

Alide claimed that putting matches on TV consistently will help build the local football brand while helping government fight COVID-19 by encouraging people to stay home.

“The advantage of having this Pay TV Channel cannot be overemphasized as it guarantees sustainable revenues for our super league teams who have struggled financially for a very long time.

“It provides a platform for exposure of our talents and brings Malawian football into the homes of Malawians across the country. It provides escalated value of our sponsors as they expose their brands further beyond the stadium walls and it’s source of employment to many youths who will be involved in production of content, sell of decoders, marketing and customer support services.

“Above all in these times of COVID – 19 Pandemic the Football Pay TV Channel is a perfect way of ensuring our fans stay at home whilst enjoying the beautiful game,” he said.

Alide thanked government through the Ministries of Youth and Sports and Information for supporting the initiative, which part of FAM’s commercialization drive.

According to inside sources, FAM identified Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) and Mibawa Television as content providers and viewers will be required to pay a monthly subscription to access to live local football matches throughout the season.

FAM was prompted to initiate the viability of football TV broadcasting via a pay channel due to continued dwindling of resources in football and the need to have consistency in the beaming of live football matches with the prospect of playing behind closed doors due to Covid-19 pandemic challenges.

MDBNL’s core business is to provide Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) services to the public—through content aggregation by assembling multiple analogue television stations into one digital signal stream; and signal distribution by carrying a digital stream to homes.

Essentially, MDBNL acts to fulfil the digital migration from analogue to digital television services. It started its operations as an institution on 1st July, 2015 licensed by Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA).

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