Mediamax locks out rivals in KPL commentary
Lovers of the Kenyan Premier League radio commentary will be compelled to tune in to only two local stations for live broadcasts following Mediamax Network Limited’s acquisition of the exclusive broadcast rights.
This follows a partnership deal brokered between the league’s official broadcaster SuperSport and Mediamax Networks Limited signed on Thursday which gives the two radio stations in Mediamax’s stable – Milele FM and Pilipili FM – exclusive rights to air live KPL matches in Kiswahili for the next six years.
Speaking during the event, SuperSport Head of Africa Andre Venter said he was excited to have streamlined radio broadcasting for the top flight league, and that he is looking forward to the continued devolvement of the broadcasting rights held by his company.
“This is the first time we are partnering with a radio station. The deal will be open for bidding once the deal expires in 2021 but for now, we are happy to say that Milele FM and Pilipili FM are the official league radio broadcasters,” Venter said.
The deal will come as bad news for other radio broadcasters among them Radio Maisha and Radio Jambo both of which draw a huge chunk of their listenership from live football commentaries.
Venter however said that other radio stations are free to broadcast the live matches in English and vernacular as they search for an official broadcaster in those languages.
Kenyan Premier League Limited’s head of logistics Frank Okoth welcomed the move, saying that it would benefit local football enthusiasts as they will get reliable live commentary from a centralized place.
“This is a very good initiative because it will open up the local league and more KPL fans will be able to get the live broadcast from two common stations. This is a first in Kenya which means that we are making progress,” he said.
There was no money involved in the deal, and Venter said that it was mere barter trade between his company and the radio station for the mutual benefit of both Mediamax and the local league.