Broadcast giants Supersport, who have since acquired the rights to televise the Botswana Premier League (BPL) matches, are back in the country and will televise live the Mascom Top 8 finals between Gaborone United and BDF X1on Saturday at the Lobatse Stadium.
However, non-subscribers do not need to worry because they will be able to watch the match on Btv who have been offered a free feed for the Saturday match.
BG Sport can reveal that Supersport’s decision to televise the Saturday game with a free live feed for Btv is intended to induce the national broadcaster’s hierarchy into speeding up negotiations for a partnership.
The Botswana Football Association (BFA) and Supersport have long sealed a broadcast agreement that has been stalling because Btv has been slow to come to the party. Supersport have been hopeful to sub license their feed to the local broadcaster not only to allow for the rest of Botswana to have access to the games, but also to help them recover production costs. In the meantime, BPL sponsors have put pressure on the league management to meet their obligation of having the league games show on television, a result of which Supersport descended in Botswana to heed BPL’s call.
BG Sport understands that Supersport have just made contact with Btv where they are believed to have given them a proposal on how best they can work together, a proposal to which Btv are yet to respond. Supersport have allegedly committed to the development of local football by among others, rescuing BPL from their souring relations with their sponsor, as well as to create job opportunities in broadcasting for locals just as they have done in countries where they operate. Further, Supersport are committed to working with Btv in terms of technological advancement and skills transfer, as well as work with the league towards making the local game commercially viable.
S upersport have since brought two of their Outside Broadcast trucks from Zambia and will be keeping them in the country until the end of the league as they are scheduled to broadcast some of the remaining games.
After the Saturday final, Supersport will switch over to Molepolole the next day where they are billed to broadcast the premier league game between champions elect, Mochudi Centre Chiefs and BMC.
Chief Executive Officer of BPL, Bennet Mamelodi confirmed that that they have reached the deal with the giant broadcaster, saying they were satisfied with the deal and eternally grateful to Supersport for seeing the need to come and invest locally.
He however could not be drawn into sharing further details, directing questions to the BFA.
Attempts to get a comment from both the BFA President and Btv’s Head of Sport Edson Malebane were not successful.