… as IMC moves to broadcast league matches
The Interim Board of Directors of the Nigeria Professional Football League, Gbenga Elegbeleye, has confirmed that the domestic topflight league will be televised live from next season, adding that the league’s new sponsors will be announced at the draw on Wednesday. For the 2022/23 season.
The NPFL has not been on TV and has also been without a title sponsor for several seasons, but the IMC could be in a legal battle over those rights if the parties involved in the current debacle are not consulted to properly resolve rights ownership. of the league
“NPFL will be on NTA (Nigerian Television Authority) as we have confirmation from them. For the cable network, it may not start with the first games but later in the season,” Elegbeleye said in an interview at AIT.
“The league will start on January 8, 2023 with draws by December 28, shortened to a 100 per cent format, any club not ready can choose to leave.
“We will not owe any referees for next season despite inheriting the N500 million referees debt,” he added.
PUNCH reported that in a bid to get the order to reposition the league, last month, the IMC held a meeting with the NTA in Abuja to discuss how the national television could cooperate with the league body for live broadcasting. NPFL matches to Nigerians.
It was reported that IMC had opened discussions with MultiChoice for SuperSports to broadcast the league to an international audience.
Meanwhile, the long-awaited resumption date of the new season was only abandoned last Thursday at a meeting held by IMC and club representatives in Abuja.
Elegbeleye said the IMC planned to give the league a new face.
The IMC boss added: “It’s not easy and it’s very challenging, and the fact that the Nigerian league is not marketed on past activities and the way sponsors perceive the league. They don’t see our league as something creative enough to invest their money in. All investors want a return.
“The Kenyan league is on TV, the Ethiopian league is on TV, the South African league is on TV and so many African leagues are on TV, but the Nigerian league is not. How do you want investors to be interested in your business without visibility now?
However, if any of these IMC moves come to fruition, it could lead to yet another legal battle that could cripple the league, yet again.
From Globacom to Total Promotions, SuperSport, Next TV and then Red Strike; There has been a protracted debacle over the title and television rights of the NPFL, with court orders, which have scared potential investors away from investing in the league. Some of the companies mentioned pulled out of their agreements with the NPFL to avoid legal battles and drama.
Under this, Total Promotions owns the league’s broadcast rights, so IMC can fight any further moves by the company for new broadcasters in the league through court.
There is a case at the Lagos High Court bearing number LD/997/2017 between Total Promotions and Nigeria Football League Limited/LMC, the latter being the defendants.
Following the meeting with the IMC NTA, our correspondent learned that Total Promotions wrote to both parties, warning them of the legal implications of broadcasting the league while it held the title and broadcasting rights.
‘Buyer Beware!’ in the letter named and dated November 8, 2022, addressed to NTA CEO Salihu Abdulhamid Dembos, the owner of Total Promotions, Niyi Alonge, warned the TV station to broadcast the league.
“Please be advised that following the hearing of the case at the Lagos High Court: LD/997/2013 Total Promotions Limited (claimant), Nigeria Football League Limited/League Management Company (defendants), the court ordered the reduction of the interlocutory order. to interfere in any way with the execution of the broadcasting rights contract between
“You (NTA) will therefore be advised not to pursue any further action that will override the judgments, including the attached Supreme Court judgments. Any attempt by NTA to participate in this broadcast rights matter will be treated as contempt of court judgments, including the judgment of the Supreme Court, against the highest court of the land. Further , given the appeal by the LMC, that makes the matter very subjudicial. You (NTA) have been put on notice.”