StarTimes eyeing Kenyan Premier League and NSL broadcast rights
StarTimes have reopened negotiations with Kenyan football authorities with an aim of taking up the broadcast rights for both the Kenyan Premier League and National Super League, Nairobi News understands.
This as the China-owned Digital and Pay-television giant firms up plans to enhance its local production capacity with a state-of-the-art studio in Nairobi to be complete by end of 2019.
Representatives of StarTimes are also understood to be have reached out to Football Kenya Federation and Kenyan Premier League officials with aim of taking up the broadcasting rights for the first and second tier football leagues.
“It is encouraging even though the first meeting was just informal. We will wait for their (StarTimes) proposal and consider if it is the best for Kenyan football,” a football official said.
The Kenyan Premier League has been without a Pay TV partner since South African channel SuperSport abruptly cancelled a five-year sponsorship deal worth an estimated Sh80 million a year in 2017.
StarTimes expressed interest sometime back, but then it seems both parties failed to agree on a deal after months of negotiations.
The National Super League has a separate arrangement with Free to Air Channel Bamba Sports, but all indications are that their is room for a PAY-TV Channel to come on board.
Meanwhile, StarTimes is keen on setting up a regional hub in Nairobi with Andy Wang and Ugandan Aldrine Nsubuga reportedly set to relocate to Nairobi to take charge of the company’s interests.
“We know Kenyans are passionate and love their football so we are working with the people concerned to bring relevant content for our subscribers,” said Nsubuga.
“In Kenya, things are a bit complicated and the process can be lengthy but we are ready to go the full length. We have been in this before, encountered challenges but we are back again and we have the experience to go through this now.”
Rated the second largest Pay TV channel in Kenya, StarTimes also broadcasts the Ugandan and Ghanaian top flight football leagues, Germany’s Bundesliga, Italy’s Serie A, French Ligue 1 and the Europa League.