MARKETING AFRICA MAL 18/17 mal 18:17 online - Page 92

SPORTS MARKETING ONE BROADCASTER’S LOSS IS ANOTHER’S MEAT: SUPERSPORTS VS KWESE SPORTS By Richard Wanjohi Exit the Bok - SuperSports T he announcement in April 2017 that SuperSport was closing down its Kenyan operation caught many sports enthusiasts by surprise. Coming close to the cancellation of the Kenyan Premier League matches live coverage along with magazine programmes, this marked the bitter end to a sweet and sour relationship of Naspers-owned SuperSport with football administrators in Kenya. While the finer details are being worked, the effect of SuperSport’s closure in the short-term means the loss of hundreds of jobs from production crew to sports casters and other staff. The genesis of the footballing rights cancellation seems to have precipitated to disagreements with Football Kenya Federation officials. The latter had insisted on an expanded league while Kenya Premier League Limited honchos held their ground on maintaining the status quo. In the end both parties have lost with the Kenyan football none ‘‘ Kenya’s breadth and wealth of talent in other sporting disciplines such as rugby, athletics and cricket seemed to resonate well with the executives and looked like viable prospects on paper. This has now been superseded and all that remains are the snippets of the local scene from a skeletal staff operating from the broadcaster’s headquarters on Ngong Road.’’ 90 MAL 18/17 ISSUE the poorer of the two parties. Football had been the anchor of the SA owned outfit expansion in Kenya and indeed in the region. Having lost the other 2 East African countries in the last 5 years, Kenya remained as the only hope of progress for the sports broadcaster. Being the most vibrant of the other Eastern African countries as well as the major sporting powerhouse, it was only fair for it to host the broadcaster’s offices as well as production houses. Kenya’s breadth and wealth of talent in other sporting disciplines such as rugby, athletics and cricket seemed to resonate well with the executives and looked like viable prospects on paper. This has now been superseded and all that remains are the snippets of the local scene from a skeletal staff operating from the broadcaster’s headquarters on Ngong Road. The competition from Azam TV domiciled in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania which owns the rights to the Tanzanian and Ugandan football leagues did not help matters