The 9 million pula broadcasting deal between Botswana Football Association (BFA) and Baboneng Film Productions seems to be a pie in the sky. It has been a good six months since the five- year- deal was announced, however Debswana First Division games are yet to beam live on television.
Baboneng Productions was given Television, radio, print and Internet rights as well as the branding of stadium during matches. Nevertheless, not a single game was broadcast on radio and only one match was televised on Maru TV. The deal was that at the start of the 2018/2019 season, games were to be broadcasted live on Maru TV, Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development’s (MYSEC) NOWtv and Local radio station Duma FM.
In fact, BG Sport has learnt that the BFA deal has been revised to involve the airing of the premier league games too. According to reliable reports Baboneng was to work hand in hand with Botswana Television to make the dream a success. A contract between the two parties has already been drawn up.
Things have been stagnant with the biggest monster in the room being insufficient funds. Baboneng was to pay BFA P1.5 million and each team to receive a P50 000 grant at the start of the season.
The BFA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mfolo Mfolo confirmed in an interview this week that they are still waiting for the money. Mfolo noted that it appears the company is still experiencing financial difficulties as things might have not turned out as expected with the financier.
“They have not paid yet, however they are in constant communication with us and hopefully a solution will be found in the near future,” he said.The BFA CEO noted that it was a bit disappointing that the deal has not rolled into action as planned, saying they saw a future in it. It would have been history in the making if the games were to beam live on TV.
Quizzed on whether they were not quick to put pen to paper, Mfolo said that the proposal was convincing enough. He added that they will be monitoring the situation closely and want to give the company a fair chance to prove their mettle. “The content they produced during the 2018 Charity Cup was top notch and of high quality, however if all fails, then we will consider the exit clause,” Mfolo said.
Programmes Manager at DUMA FM, Donald Seberane said that they will only broadcast the games if they find a sponsor. He explained that the cost of broadcasting the 65 games stands at P 3 million. An amount the company cannot afford at the moment.
Spokesperson at MYSEC, Thobo Tlhasana said that they have the funds to broadcast the games, however they still have engineering issues. “I am not sure when the games will start airing live on NOWtv,” he said.
As for Baboneng CEO, Kesebonye Seabelo, he remains confident that come high or low, he will live up to his promises. “Whether the heavens are blue or black the proposal I gave BFA still stands and we will not disappoint,” he said. He is confident by the end of February 2019 things will start looking up.
He revealed that most sponsors including Debswana mining Company and Kgalagadi Breweries Limited (KBL) would be fully onboard this year. “They had already exhausted their funds and we suffered a setback on funds. It costs about P138 000 per game and the relationship between us and BTV will enable us to save costs as we will produce more than one game in a day,” he said, adding that it is not a one man show as he is working with all the stakeholders, including BFA to find sponsors.