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Ghana state broadcaster 'shocked' to lose Premier League rights to Chinese firm StarTimes

22:48 EAT 09/01/2020
Ghana fans
The national broadcaster believes it was unfairly treated in their bid for TV rights of the domestic league  

Ghana's state broadcaster GTV has expressed disappointment by the Ghana Football Association (GFA)'s decision to hand television rights of the national league to Chinese pay TV outfit StarTimes.

On Wednesday, the GFA released a statement announcing reaching a five-year agreement with StarTimes worth $5.25 million (€4.73m) for the exclusive TV rights of the Ghana Premier League and the FA Cup with immediate effect.

National TV channel GTV, managed by the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC), were among the outfits to have made bids for the rights when a call was made in December upon abrogation of a previous TV deal interestingly held by StarTimes.

"The Ghana Broadcasting Corporation put in a bid which we are certain was superior to what the StarTimes is said to have submitted. As published on the GFA website, StarTimes offered to pay USD 5,250,000 (€4,725,736) which comes up to USD 1,050,000 (€945,147) annually while GBC made a financial offer of USD 1,100,000 (€990, 154) annually," parts of a statement signed by GBC director of corporate affairs Mamle Asare on Thursday reads.

"It is for this and other reasons that we received the news with disappointment and shock.

“Apart from GBC’s superior financial offer, we thought that the Premier League and FA Cup content would have been treated like a national treasure and given to the national broadcaster and a consortium of local broadcasters.

“The GFA’s decision will gravely impact on Ghanaians’ access to the Ghana Premier League and FA Cup live games on Free-to-Air (FTA) broadcast.

“When Ghana football sunk to its lowest ebb in the aftermath of the ‘Number 12’ exposé, it was GBC that invested huge human and material resources to work with the Normalisation Committee to bring the special competitions to the homes of Ghanaians live.

“GBC did this at the time nobody cared about showing the game on TV because it was unattractive."

In 2016, the GFA, then under the leadership of Kwesi Nyantakyi, signed a contract worth about $20 million (€18m) with StarTimes to cover all competitions for 10 years.

The deal was, however, abrogated by a new GFA administration last December, with the football's governing body opening a new bidding window for all interested media outfits.

The 2019-20 Ghana Premier League, which is about to enter its third matchday, started on December 28 without an official TV partner. 

Matches will be available on TV from matchday three.