African Football

Why Supersport switched off Nigerian League

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The decision by pay television giants Supersport to terminate its broadcast rights with the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) yesterday is purely business.

The South African based company has been hard pressed economically in the market considered its second largest in Africa due to the prevailing harsh business climate in the country.

“The recession especially in Nigeria has wiped out Supersport’s earning since 2015 when Nigerian Naira crushed against the Dollar,” a reliable source told Soka25east.com.

“Infact, Supersport is almost going out of business due to the recession, as there is a huge mismatch in their business model. 95% of their costs are in $USD while all their earnings are in Naira,” the source added.

Supersport’s troubles were compounded by the Central Bank of Nigeria’s move to remove them from tangible category to intangible category, meaning they cannot access Forex exchange at the CBN rates, and were asked to source from open market.

“This clearly ruined their business and wiped out all their earnings. And they were not allowed to increase their subscription fees to recover the difference.”

The League Management Committee (LMC) had written to Supersport – inviting them for renegotiation as the current seven-year-contract penned in 2013 was drawing to a close.

“When the contract was signed in 2013 Naira was about 160 against 1 Dollar, it’s currently at around 300 against 1 Dollar.”

The cost of production of matches in the NPFL has also shot up almost three folds.

“The cost of production rose from an average of N6M to about N15M.”

NPFL is the third African topflight to be plugged off by Supersport after Ghana’s last year and Kenya’s a couple of weeks back.

Supersport maintains its presence in Zimbabwean, Zambian and South African leagues.

Last month they paid top Dollar to secure the English Premier League rights till 2022.

About Bonface Osano

African football purist.

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