Kenyan TV stations blackout Cecafa tournament
Kenyan Television stations, save for the national broadcaster KBC, have ceased covering the ongoing Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup in the country in the wake of a row with the competition’s rights holders, Azam TV.
The tiff reportedly escalated when Azam initially barred local media stations from covering the matches from the stadium.
“Initially, Azam demanded payments in exchange for allowing us to access stadiums and conduct pitch-side interviews,” a source explained.
“We understand they have bought the exclusive rights to cover the tournament for the next three years but we required an exemption to get content for our bulletins.”
The firm, which replaced SuperSport after signing a three year deal with Cecafa earlier this year, own a separate deal with Kenya Broadcasting Corporation to air most of the matches live.
As a result, none of the local stations including Citizen, NTV and KTN have been airing news of the ongoing tournament, even as the tournament organisers led by Cecafa secretary general Nicholas Musonye work behind the scenes to salvage the situation.
Matches in the two-week international tournament, involving nine-countries, are being played at Bukhungu Stadium in Kakamega and Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos, with the Moi Stadium in Kisumu is slated to host the semis.
Meanwhile, Kenya’s Harambee Stars will face Zanzibar in their third game of this tournament, at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos on Saturday.
Stars beat Rwanda 2-0 in their opening fixture before being held to a barren draw by guest team Libya.