By Najibu Mulema
Cash strapped Uganda Broadcasting Cooperation ( UBC) has issued statement informing its esteemed viewers that it shall not be screening all the games of the African Cup of Nations tournament in Gabon which is kicking off today on 14 January, 2017.
In a letter dated 13 January, 2017, UBC says over the years sporting events on Television, the world over have become highly commercialized. The TV rights for international football events have been sold by FIFA and Confederation of African Federation ( CAF) to yhe highest biddera on the international market, the same applies to Federation of Uganda Football Association (FUFA) games here in Uganda where rights are sold out too.
“The AFCON 2017 Gabon games for the free to air television rights were brought by Legardere Sports and Entertainment, a France based entity and they were offered to UBC at a negotiated rate through the Africa Union of Broadcasters (AUB) of five hundred and fifty thousand Eutos (€550,000)- equivalent to Uganda shillings Two billion one hundred million ( shs 2.1 billion),” The letter partly reads.
According to UBC Legardere Sports and Entertainment requires the total rights fees be paid in advance or before the games commencement on 14 January, 2017.
The station says it has tried for months to raise the required ammount through advertisers and stakeholders but to no avail thus the station will not be able to air the tournament but will deliver updates of the ongoing games so that Ugandans an follow the progress of the gallamt Uganda Cranes.
UBC further notes that it shall carry out game commentaries on all its 11 radio stations across the country in different languages.
Uganda cranes who are in group D start their campaign with an encounter against Ghana’s Black stars on 17th January.