NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 25 – The soap opera that is Kenyan football continued to unfold with new episodes on Thursday, with Chinese broadcast company StarTimes pulling out of its sponsorship of the top tier league, the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Premier League.
StarTimes announced they have decided to pull the plug on the seven-year deal due to several contractual breaches.
In a statement sent out by the broadcast company, they have cited the botched Mashemeji Derby earlier this year which was boycotted by both Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards as one of the reasons they have decided to walk away.
The departure of StarTimes now takes the league back to the broke days and clubs will now not be entitled to any monthly grants with title sponsors BetKing having also pulled out towards the close of last season.
The following are the reasons the company has given;
– Failure to deliver a number of scheduled broadcast fixtures: Despite prior confirmations, several fixtures including one Mashemeji derby in the 2020/21 seasonwere 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 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 on content popularity, the constant confrontation has led to limited uptake and viewership of the property as seen through monitored performance on our platform.
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– Failure to honor 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.
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