By Isaac Swila
The Kenyan Premier League has entered into a marriage of convenience by signing a six-months contract with Free-to-air Sports channel, Bamba Sport, which will see the latter air the top flight matches for the remainder of the season.
The six- month contract which takes effect immediately is worth Sh 36.7milion and will see Bamba Sport screen a minimum of two games on its television platform every week.
Kenyan Premier League chairman, Ambrose Rachier hailed the partnership saying, “KPL is excited that we finally have a local broadcaster with Free-to-Air presence that has stepped in within a very short notice and that the league will continue to air in Kenyan households where football fans can watch their favourite teams.”
FKF chief, Nick Mwendwa, also weighed in: “We are excited that Kenyans now have an opportunity for the very first time to watch top flight football for free and this will provide an opportunity to showcase Kenyan talent to millions of fans around the country.”
Bamba Sports’ entry comes hot in the wake of the exit of South African pay-television channel Supersport which ended its decade long partnership with KPL, accusing the latter of flouting the contract that had existed between the two parties.
Of the 38 million pumped in by the Free-to-Air station, 70 percent is expected to be channeled to the 18 clubs making up the top- tier league while 30 percent will go to operations and administrative costs of the league secretariat.
The KPL was yanked off air following Supersport’s exit and it remains to be seen how the new entrant will perform in a market that the South African station had raised the bar way too high.