An inside source from Media Prima Berhad has spoken to Goal, in defence of the supposed lack of quality in their local football broadcast, and the lack of matchday broadcasting during the second round of the Malaysia FC Cup last Saturday.
The inside source claimed that the company, that has picked up matchday broadcast duties from satellite TV provider Astro, are simply doing it out of passion and should not be unduly criticised. He claimed that the company is not making any money on ground advertising while absorbing production costs, as it is doing it for the love of Malaysian football.
Media Prima's matchday broadasts, shown on their free-to-air local TV channels TV3 and TV9, have been criticised by fans for the quality of their telecast, match commentary, and the lack of pre and post-match discussions.
They became even more irate when none of the second round FA Cup matches, played last Friday and Saturday, were shown on TV. Previously, the two channels have shown the first two rounds of the Malaysia Super League, and continental matches involving Pahang and JDT.
Fans also made comparisons with how well the broadcast was run in the previous years by the subscription-based Astro. Astro formerly held the broadcasting rights to domestic football until the end of 2014. In 2015, Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) set up Football Malaysia Limited Liability (FMLLP) to manage the Malaysian League, whereas MP & Silva were brought in as partners advising in media.
The rights have not been sold yet by FMLLP to any local TV stations, sparking questions by fans who are unable to attend matches at the stadium. Several of them were even spotted resorting to spamming Media Prima and FAM channels' Facebook pages, imploring the locally-owned channel to start broadcasting local football matches again, somehow.
More worryingly, the absence of a regular broadcaster has also seen the absence of sponsors, whose advertisements are missing from the pitchside of most venues, although MP & Silva did promise FAM RM1.26 billion in funding over a 15-year period effective next year, when the deal was signed.