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More trouble for FKF as StarTimes pulls out of sponsorship

StarTimes pull out of FKF sponsorship deal

More trouble surrounding the Football Kenya Federation as StarTimes pull out of the FKF sponsorship deal. it just doesn’t seem to be ending after Startimes pulls out of a seven-year deal to broadcast the Kenya premier league.

StarTimes announced it was pulling out of the agreement over several cases of breach of contract, and also cited the recent troubles surrounding the Federation with the government as another reason they had decided to let go of the deal.

The Chinese broadcast company signed the deal to broadcast Kenya’s top tier at the start of last season, with the league having been without a broadcast partner since SuperSport left.

In a statement, StarTimes listed the following reasons for pulling the plug on the deal;

KCB players celebrate their goal against Wazito FC FKF Premier League match at the Kasarani Stadium

– Failure to deliver a number of scheduled broadcast fixtures: Despite prior confirmations, several fixtures including one Mashemeji derby in the 2020/21 season were not delivered.

– Frequent changes to confirmed fixtures: We have had to work with an unstable fixture that has constantly changed, at times on short notice. This has led to a lack of cohesion and promotion of wrong fixtures which ultimately translated to limited awareness of broadcasted matches.

– Persistent stakeholder wrangling within the football fraternity: The persistent acrimony between the governing body and its key stakeholders among them media and top tier clubs has negatively affected the league’s brand affinity. Being a subscription broadcaster who leverages content popularity, the constant confrontation has led to limited uptake and viewership of the property as seen through monitored performance on our platform.

– Failure to honour agreed contract deliverables: This is seen in various forms including but not limited to failure to broadcast the weekly free to air (FTA) fixtures, providing the weekly magazine shows and acknowledging the media sponsor as the official broadcast partner across agreed platforms.

– Constantly putting the StarTimes brand into disrepute: The failure and/or delayed delivery of scheduled fixtures have exposed the brand to constant subscriber backlash.

After StarTimes pull out of FKF sponsorship deal, they became the third FKF partner to pull out in less than 12 months.

Also, read; Who is Nick Mwendwa?

FKF President Nick Mwendwa and Secretary-General Barry Otieno

Towards the close of last season, betting firm BetKing which had signed a five-year Sh1.2bn naming rights deal for the top tier and a further Sh500mn deal for the National Division One League pulled out of the sponsorship, barely a year on.

According to sources, BetKing which is just setting its ground in the country did not feel they were getting value for their money with the league not being marketed properly and alleged lack of transparency in the handling of the funds forwarded to the Federation.

This year, another betting firm, OdiBets saw their partnership with the Federation to sponsor grassroots football ended with the Federation saying it was cancelling the contract due to alleged breaches.

But, sources say that the deal went sour when the company failed to get convincing supporting documents for the usage of their funds.

The latest partner to pull out now leaves the league without any income.

When BetKing was sponsoring the league, clubs were getting at least Sh800,000 per month while StarTimes would top up a further Sh300,000 per month as broadcast rights fee.

With that all gone, clubs are set to go back to the dark days of tough financial struggles.

Several self-sponsored clubs are set to feel the pinch of the departure of the two sponsors.


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