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StarTimes Ends Broadcast Deal With ‘Troubled’ FKF

by Zablon Ondari
2 mins read
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Chinese media company StarTimes has terminated its broadcast deal with the Football Kenya Federation’s Premier League.

This comes barely two week after the Ministry of Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed disbanded the Nick Mwendwa-led administration over graft allegations.

In a statement issued on Thursday, 25th November, Startimes noted that it had pulled out of the seven-year broadcast deal due to breach of contract.

“To this end, we have honored our part of contractual obligations including but not limited to the timely disbursement of copyright fees,” read part of the StarTimes statement.

“However, after a careful review of the contract performance which is now in its second season, we regret to announce that we have taken the painful decision to withdraw our media and commercial rights sponsorship with the now disbanded Football Kenya Federation.”

Here are some of the reasons the Startimes considered before cancelling its deal with the Football Kenya Federation.

  1. Failure to deliver a number of scheduled broadcast fixtures: Despite prior confirmations, several fixtures including one Mashemeji derby in the 2020/21 season were not delivered.
  2. Frequent changes to confirmed fixtures: We have had to work with an unstable fixture that has constantly changed, at times on short notice. This has led to lack of cohesion and promotion of wrong fixtures which ultimately translated to limited awareness of broadcasted matches.
  3. Persistent stakeholder wrangling within the football fraternity: The persistent acrimony between the governing body and its key stakeholders among them media and top tier clubs have negatively affected the league’s brand affinity. Being a subscription broadcaster who leverages on content popularity, the constant confrontation has led to limited uptake and viewership of the property as seen through monitored performance on our platform.
  4. Failure to honor agreed contract deliverables: This is seen in various forms including but not limited to failure to broadcast the weekly free to air (FTA) fixtures, providing the weekly magazine shows and acknowledging the media sponsor as the official broadcast partner across agreed platforms.
  5. Constantly putting the StarTimes brand into disrepute: The failure and/or delayed delivery of scheduled fixtures have exposed the brand to constant subscriber backlash.

The broadcaster penned a seven-year deal worth Ksh110 million per year to broadcast the Kenya Premier League last November.

The development comes three months after title sponsor BetKing terminated their Ksh1.2 billion deal.

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