ZNBC cries foul over exhobitant broadcast rights from SportFive

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The Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) has complained over high charges by SportFive, owners of broadcast rights for televising most of Zambia’s and other African teams’ international assignments.

ZNBC director of programmes, Berry Lwando said in an interview in Lusaka that the corporation was facing challenges with SportFive whom he accused of conniving with some companies, especially in West Africa, to hike the charges so that they can get a share from the deal.

By press time, the Corporation was yet to receive a quotation from SportFive to televise last night’s Zambia versus Senegal international friendly match in Paris, France played on a FIFA-sanctioned day.

He said due to the delay by the agency to give ZNBC the quote it was practically impossible to televise last night’s match.
“As we speak, we are still waiting for a quotation from SportFive, the owners of the rights. They have still not told us how much it is going to cost us to beam the match (Zambia vs Senegal),” Lwando said.

He protested that SportFive was trying to hold ZNBC and many other broadcast stations in Africa to ransom by overcharging on the television rights.
SportFive is an international sports marketing agency, owned by the French media group, Lagardère Unlimited.

He said SportFive has since charged ZNBC US$150,000 (about K825,000) to beam live the Ghana versus Zambia Brazil 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier in Kumasi on Saturday, September 6.

At least they have given us a quotation for the Ghana match, which is US$150,000. But for last night’s friendly it was going to be very difficult for us to televise the match live even if they had given us a quote because it is going to be difficult for us to raise money at such short notice,” Lwando said.

He said ZNBC had since started sourcing for sponsorship for the Ghana match and was hopeful that come September 6, soccer fans would watch live the proceedings from Kumasi in the World Cup qualifier.