Tanzania: GTV hopes sponsorship of ECA will see players turn professional

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The main sponsors of East and Central Africa Challenge Cup, GTV say the television channel was proud of the standard of the game in the region. GTV (T) general manager Paolo Pavlidis said they are happy with the level of play in the Challenge Cup, with many players showing great talents.

Pavlidis said they expect to see the players make efforts to turn professional as the channel is available live on satellite television, and is used by talent hunters all over the world. Many players have shown appreciable talents, he said, emphasizing that this is the big success in the progress of the game in the sub-region.

Apart from going live, GTV has airs highlights through G-Sports 1 auxiliary channel, the highlights televised after the key Arsenal versus Chelsea premier league encounter on Sunday. GTV project manager Mark Wilkin talked of plans to stage "a world class tournament to showcase African football talent to the world. We will have seven cameras including a steady camera which will be introduced for the first time in Africa by our production team."

This year's tournament featured all 11 member countries, a huge success of the tournament, he said, elaborating that despite that wide margins still exist, progress was visible compared to past tournaments. CECAFA expects the region to progress further and take its place in African soccer, he said.

The final will kick off at three in the afternoon, to allow for extra time in case the two sides are tied after 90 minutes, he said. Award presentations will start right after the match is concluded, with the winner bagging 30,000 dollars, going down to 20,000 dollars and 10,000 dollars for those in second and third place.

Meanwhile, GTV has also signed a deal with Ghana Football Association to accelerate the development of Ghanaian football; GTV to invest millions of dollars over 3 years in all aspects of the game and televise live GFA Premier League action across Africa; GTV’s continuous investment in African football helps secure its position as Africa’s home of football

GTV (known as GBS in Ghana), signed an historic deal with the Ghana Football Association (GFA) on December 20th to support the development of Ghanaian football at local and national levels. The deal is the first of its kind in Ghana and will give a significant boost to the League’s clubs and players

The signing marks GTV’s latest investment to build a home for live African football that is accessible to football fans all over the Continent. It follows hot-on-the-heels of its recent sponsorship deals with the Uganda Super League, CECAFA Challenge Cup and the Tanzanian Premier League.

Julian McIntyre, founder and Managing Director of GTV said, “GTV aims to be the home of football in Africa, and that means investing in the sport nationally and giving our subscribers access to their local teams on TV as well as the best of other international leagues. The long-term, comprehensive nature of this and all our deals is GTV’s way of promising football fans that we will work in partnership with local associations and member clubs to raise the bar of African football.”

Through the deal, GTV takes ownership of the media rights to Ghana’s Premier League, in partnership with Afrisat, an African production company. GTV viewers will be able to follow all the League’s clubs on its G Sports channels as with Uganda’s Super League, Cecafa and TFF matches.

(The Citizen (Dar es Salaam), 20 December 2007)