The Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) and StarTimes have signed a five-year agreement to bring the league back on television.
President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Ibrahim Musa Gusau, who led members of the board of the NPFL said the football house will continue to make sure that the Nigerian league is beamed across the globe and expose Nigerian players to the world.
He said all due diligence was taken into consideration before the deal was agreed as part of measures to see that Nigeria and Nigerians get the best.
“We have had this (live telecast) as a dream and as a promise that by the grace of God, we would do our best to ensure that we improve our domestic league. We cannot achieve that without making sure that we put the Premier League first and thank God today we are showing Nigerians and the world that by the grace of God we’ll do it and with the support of our partners like StarTimes, we are going to achieve that.
“It has taken a very long time for us to discuss, going here and there and just yesterday we played the sixth match of the season in the Premier League. It was our intention to see that this partnership commence before the commencement of the league but we had to go through thorough due diligence to make sure that what we are going to do will surely give Nigerians the best and surely help us to achieve what we want to achieve as far as promoting our domestic league is concerned. That is why we couldn’t conclude this partnership until by the grace of God today after this signing.
“It is our responsibility as Nigeria Football Federation to make sure that as the parent body of football whatever is going to happen, we do it right so that posterity will judge us. We are here today, tomorrow we’ll not be here. So whoever is going to take over from us must look back and commend us for what we really do for football. And that is why we believe that everything should be properly taken care of.
“We are going to start with four matches and that is for the first two seasons in the first instance. Then the last three seasons through 2027, we are planning with StarTimes to show eight matches. If that is what we are able to achieve with that target, I think we can be proud of ourselves. And I think we can meet that target if we are among the top five leagues in Africa. I think we are moving forward. Apart from the streaming that is going on, we are now on TV which is key because you cannot get sponsors looking for their support, looking for their partnership without having something to give them back.”
NPFL chairman, Gbenga Elegbeleye, described the deal as a right step in the right direction and promised Nigerians the best of football in the league.
“Some months ago while operating as Interim Management Committee (IMC), we did assure Nigerians that we are going to get our matches back on the television. Today represents a very major step to beam our matches to the world. It has been months of painstaking negotiation for which I must commend our partner, StarTimes for their steadfast commitment. It didn’t come easy but it is worth all the efforts put into it. We are here to start off with StarTimes as an official satellite cable television broadcast partner.
“We are here to welcome this valuable addition to the NPFL family as we look forward to more exciting moments for Nigerians who have endured years of absence of our league from our television screen. I want to state that more valuable partners as we continue on this trajectory of transparency, strict application of the rules and appropriate actions for breaches. Good things are back in the NPFL.”
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) StarTimes, Joshua Wang, assured that the deal will restore the lost glory of the Nigerian league which was previously the toast of the African continent.
“This deal is a win-win situation for both parties. For StarTimes, it means that we can offer subscribers more value and variety in our sports content. For the NPFL, it means that they can benefit from our expertise and experience in producing and broadcasting high-quality football matches.
“We believe that this deal will enhance the visibility and the popularity of the NPFL both locally and internationally. We hope that it will also inspire and motivate the players, coaches, and clubs to perform at their best and showcase their talents,” Wang stated.
READ ALSO FROM SPORTING TRIBUNE