Mibawa Studios to produce and streamlive Malawi local games for FIFA TV 

After successfully delivering the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers for Confederation of African Football (CAF) on international platforms with great satisfaction, FIFA has granted Mibawa Studios a contract to be producing and streaming Malawi local games for FIFA TV.

A statement from Mibawa Studios says they have already started producing and streaming the digital rights of local league games for the world football governing body’s TV platform.

“Mibawa Studios team has been highly commended by Confederation of Southern Africa Football Associations (COSAFA) management on our delivery of the recent CAF African Schools football tournament in Lilongwe.

Malawi v Ethiopia game that Mibawa broadcasted

“The games were delivered to CAF, COSAFA and FIFA TV. Mibawa Studios is expected to also produce part of the Zone 5 games to be played in December 2022.

“This deal will see local football contribute to the foreign exchange of our nation but also provide the much-needed exposure and revenue to our teams as the platform grows,” says the statement issued on Thursday, November 10.

Mibawa management further said they are in the process of acquiring a new 4K outside broadcasting (OB) van that will increase its capacity to deliver more games.

“After setting up an office in Lilongwe in October this year, our plan is for the Lilongwe office to cover Central Region games locally using the current OB van and later next year, we will plan for Mzuzu to have their own mini OB van.

“We are committed to working with FAM in Raising the Bar and monetizing football through Mpira TV and other initiatives for the benefit of our local teams and football in Malawi.”

The TV station thanks Football Association of Malawi (FAM), Super League of Malawi (SULOM), all other stakeholders and the general public “for continuing to encourage us to stay on the path despite various challenges”.

“The key stakeholders in football have appreciated the efforts Mibawa Studios has made so far in growing the quality of local live football production when most felt it was a hopeless journey.

“We are grateful for their support that will see us continue to grow and improve our production delivery and it is our commitment to continue improving the delivery of the sport by investing in the right quality equipment while also developing our personnel to deliver at high standards.

“We also believe the efforts being made in the broadband area will also significantly contribute to improved quality of live football delivered to Malawians in the coming year.”

Malawi v Ethiopia game that Mibawa broadcasted

After a long investment period of over four years, Mibawa Studios has come of professional age and managed to win the confidence of CAF to beam the 2023 AFCON Group D qualifiers at Bingu National Stadium in June.

When the schedule of the fixtures to be televised live on SuperSport channel included that between Malawi Flames and Ethiopia, Malawian fans thought the feed would be beamed by foreign content providers and it turned into such a pleasant news when they realised it was Mibawa Studios capturing the match and relaying the feed to CAF.

CAF was then feeding Supersport and other television stations across Africa and while CAF gave MBC TV the feed for the Flames’ second qualifier against Guinea away in Conakry, Mibawa Studios beamed  Ethiopia’s match against the Pharaohs of Egypt — which was played under floodlights at Bingu National Stadium.

Ethiopia used Bingu National Stadium as their home after their main home pitch was declared unfit but for the Flames away matches, they shall choose an alternative venue.

At a press conference after the success in June, Chief Executive Officer John Nthakomwa said Mibawa was approached by CAF and they were given some requirements, that included quality cameras and its production accessories as well as to submit recent local matches they had beamed organised by FAM and SULOM.

Having satisfied the African football governing body’s requirements — which as also approved by world football governing body, FIFA — Mibawa was given the nod the broadcast the two matches but CAF still sent its own producer, to supervise.

The match between the Flames and Ethiopia was controlled by the CAF producer and as the game progressed he let Mibawa’s production manager, Tamandani Mkhwimba to take charge.

Having been impressed with Mkhwimba and his crew, the CAF producer left the whole production between Ethiopia and Egypt — from which Ethiopia’s football federation also sold its rights to several TV stations in their own country and other African broadcasters.

At the press conference in June, Nthakomwa said they embarked on this journey four years ago — whose mission was to develop local football production in order for CAF and FAM not to rely on foreign production companies to come to Malawi.

“We wanted to begin to monetize the industry [and] it has taken four years, which is a long time because football production is probably one of the most expensive television productions when it comes to investment in terms of equipment and human resources.

“In Malawi, all those that have embarked in football production have experienced major losses since football is provided for free in a market where advertising income is very low to justify the investment.

“Mibawa Studios, however, took the risk while incurring losses as our goal was to build capacity slowly to reach a level that we can deliver football up to international standards,” he had said.

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